Tag Archives: toys

My Kids Live Here

3 Jul

A few days ago I was perusing Pinterest, not really looking for anything in particular.  I started looking at the home decor pins and then, out of sheer curiosity, searched “kids rooms”.  I scrolled through the various pictures of themed bedrooms, incredible one-of-a-kind beds and rooms with things like swings, slides and rock walls (my kids would never sleep!)  I began to think about my kids bedrooms and my friends kids bedrooms.  How eclectic they were, even when they had a theme.  These catalog rooms as I like to call them, are unrealistic!  I cannot imagine giving my kids one theme, for instance.  “Oh you like cars?  Ok, we will have a car shaped bed that you will only use for a short time, car bedding and fancy curtains with car tiebacks.  Maybe we will paint a road on your floor too.  Oh and you can’t hang anything on your walls because I have meticulously placed car artwork and that is all that can be hung.  And don’t take out any toys.”

I know the majority of these rooms are staged by designers . .  . but they set unattainable goals for parents wishing to give there little cherubs their dream room.  A room that the kids will be so enamored with they will just sit on their perfectly made castle-shaped bed and stare at the walls, smiling for hours.   As parents, we want our kids to have everything.  We want them to be cozy and happy.  Maybe we, even if secretly, want to one-up that snooty mom from the PTA who brags about her kids and how they have beds shaped like tree houses or pizza or whatever.   Maybe we want to be that Pinterest mom or dad.  The one who blogs about there immaculate home and pins pictures of perfect rooms and fabulous DIYs that never go awry.

Maybe not.  I don’t have that dream of having the”perfect” home.  My home is perfect for my family.  It’s not fancy or designed to belong in a Better Homes and Gardens spread.  I know I’ve shared pictures in the past of the boys rooms when I’ve done projects in them, but I wanted to share my lived in real rooms.  I didn’t stage them for you, I didn’t take out all their toys before I snapped the pictures.  These aren’t fake rooms, these are real rooms that belong to real boys.  They did clean their rooms last night, so at least you don’t have to see Big A’s dirty laundry all over the floor or the entire contents of Little C’s books shelf scattered across the room because he was looking for a specific book.

First, here are the “catalog rooms” for comparison:

Where are the stuffed animals?  Blankets?  Anything?!

Where are the stuffed animals? Blankets? Anything?!

Notice the only objects in the room and on the walls fit the nautical theme

Notice the only objects in the room and on the walls fit the nautical theme

See what I mean?  kids don’t live in these rooms!  Not unless they are extremely OCD and never leave a single out of place ever.

Here are the boys lived in rooms:

It's a bedroom a kids can actually go in!

It’s a bedroom a kids can actually go in!

Notice the lack of a theme?  Well a few years ago it was loosely Star Wars.  About a year and a 1/2 ago I painted the Lego Ninajas for the wall.  For his birthday I painted the creeper from Minecraft. . .  so it’s a mishmash.

He’s got his own style, you know . . . that of a 9yr old boy!  He hangs stuff on the walls with tape, usually leaves his soccer uniform on the floor, stinky socks and all.  On the little wall shelves hang various medals from sports and school.  A few trophies on the ledge.   There are birthday balloons left over from his party a few weeks ago.  This is not a catalog room.   It’s my son’s room.


Look, stuff hanging on the walls!

Look, stuff hanging on the walls!

A cluttered mix of toys and things.  So, so many things in this room

A cluttered mix of toys and things. So, so many things in this room

Little C’s room went from baby to big boy.  He sleeps with just shy of a thousand stuffed animals, his “guys”, and way too many blankets!  His bookshelf is a cluttered mess!   His cubby is supposed to  have more of those nice colored buckets in it to hall all his toys, but the kids like to load them up with stuff and take it upstairs or into another room.

There is no theme in his room.  When we switched to big boy, I took Little C to the store and said “pick out what you like”.  He chose the reversible blue comforter, the green curtains, and he has bright orange sheets you can’t see.  The art on the walls I painted of all his favorite characters.  No theme.  Not catalog.  Just real.
















Now, you want to see the BEST comparison?  Hehehe!  Playrooms.

Catalog playrooms are laughable.  There is no play in them!

Kids, sit on that sofa and don't move a muscle!

Kids, sit on that sofa and don’t move a muscle!

Stark, bare, no toys . . . I’m sure they are all hiding where nobody can see them.  But playrooms should have clutter!  They need kid-made art on the walls!

I'm sorry Timmy, you aren't allowed to play with those toys.

I’m sorry Timmy, you aren’t allowed to play with those toys.

Why do they show a playroom where the kids cannot reach the majority of the toys?


Ok, you ready for this?  THIS is our playroom:

The only thing up high are their piggy banks and my movies

The only thing up high are their piggy banks and my movies

There are Legos EVERYWHERE!  You know what is really funny?  They just cleaned this room 2 days ago!  I’m not crazy obsessive about this room.  The way I see it, this is the one room where the boys run the show completely.  Their bedrooms need to be cleanish because otherwise they can’t have sleepovers, I can’t vacuum and the dog can’t sleep with them.  The playroom, while I do make them clean it, is always cluttered and rarely spotless.  It’s not for show, it’s for play.

My kids art work graces all the walls in their playroom

My kids art work graces all the walls in their playroom

We do use cubbies, but we don't feel the need to hide our toys either.

We do use cubbies, but we don’t feel the need to hide our toys either.

What’s my point here?  My point is this: Don’t beat yourself up when you flip through magazines or Pinterest or even most blogs.  It’s all for show.  The rooms are staged, there is no living in them and there are definitely no kids!  When you want to redo a room or organize a room, just think what will work best for YOUR family?  Can my kids reach the highest shelf?  Is it so themed that they will lose interest in that character/show/movie etc in a few months?

Thanks for visiting my lived in home!


Welcome Back!

23 Nov

Oh how I have missed you!  Life went bonkers for a while and I had to put my little blog on the farthest back burner I have!  Let’s see, I lost my job almost a year ago, spent 6 months as a stay home mom during which time I discovered being a stay home mom is NOT for me!  I landed a new amazing job that I LOVE, however I am working full time for the first time since I was pregnant with Little C, and he’s 4 now so that was a big change for our family!  Trying to juggle working 40-50 hours a week, 2 kids in school, homework, chores . . . I ran out of time for myself let alone my little slice of heaven here in blogger land!  

Life has settled some and I have months and months of goodies to share! 

Here is what has gone on since we last chatted:

ImageLittle C started “school”.  Ok, he started going to daycare 3-4 days a week, but we call it school and he brings a back pack so he can feel like a big boy.

ImageBig A started 3rd grade (sniffle sniffle whimper) and he is doing AMAZING!  I swear that kid is going to be an engineer or something.  ImageLook at his Minecraft game he is making!  He is not allowed to play the actual game (they play it once in a while during free time at school but we won’t allow it at home)  He and a friend decided since neither of them are allowed to play the game, they would make their own! This is a work in progress, but I am so proud of him for being so imaginative!

ImageOur cats learned how to cook, which is great because I just don’t have time anymore!  See?  Gnocchi is tasting his delicious creation!  They like to help with homework too.  Very smart cats.  ImageImageBig A continues to be enamored with Legos.  Look at this incredible Lego train he built with NO instructions!  See?  Engineer for sure.

ImageMy poor Little C spent some time in the hospital a few weeks ago .  He was horribly sick and the doctors just could not figure out what was wrong with him.    They thought it was meningitis, which meant every doctor and nurse to enter his room had to wear a mask.  That was really frightening for Little C!  The worst part of the entire ordeal was having to watch, helplessly as he whimpered in pan,  As a mommy, that broke my heart.  Thankfully, he made a fll recovery and is back to be being his sassy little self again!



Well, that sums it up for now I guess!  I promise it won’t be another 6 months before you hear from me again!

Phineas’s Adventures Part 6

16 Dec

Only 9 more days until Christmas, folks.  Get your shopping done, wrap those presents and only a few more nights of fun with your Elf on the Shelf.

Our elf, Phineas, hasn’t slowed down one bit with his antics since he’s been here!  IMG_6611

Phineas was playing poker with the 3 wise men and Creepy Elf.  Maybe they didn’t have any frakencense or muhr for the Christ child, so they decided to play a few hands and see if they could win enough to buy him an Ipad?

So the next night they all went to see the baby Jesus.  I don’t see any Ipads so I’m guessing the 3 wise men didn’t fare too well the night before.










This one was a little something extra.  Little C fell asleep on the couch on afternoon and Phineas wanted to cuddle him for a while.

That Phineas, he’s such an adventure seeker!  Found him this morning scaling our living walls.  And he’s so risky, only holding on with one hand so he can carry that darn Creepy Elf

IMG_6615 IMG_6616




Phineas’s Adventures Part 5

13 Dec

Happy Middle of the Week!  I have been crazy busy between work, the kids, Christmas preparations, and painting ninjas galore.  Thankfully, Phineas has been equally as busy keeping an eye on Big A and Little C.  He’s has mostly good reports to bring back to Santa . . .  mostly.

And of course, he’s been up to his usual elf antics!IMG_6583

Like hiding in my Dummy Doll measuring cups with his little friend Creepy elf!  It actually took the kids a really long time to find him there!

He got a little stuck inside Big A’s foam gingerbread house.  We needed the jaws of life to remove him from the squishy house of doom






Phineas snuck into Big A’s room when he was sleeping over at a friend’s house.  Looks like he is just as good as Big A when it comes to creating Lego masterpieces!IMG_6558


Phineas must have been getting a little homesick for the North Pole, because we found him sledding in our freezer!  He build himself a snowman and was having a great, COLD time in there.  He stayed in the freezer all day and the boys kept looking to make sure he was ok!






think Phineas may have spent a little too much time in the cold freezer the night before, because the following night he was sunning himself in my curio cabinet.  Notice Creepy elf is back?  Turns out they are the best of friends now!  Looks like Phineas is really enjoying the company!


Phineas’s Adventures Part 4

6 Dec

It’s Wednesday!  Hope your week is going well, my has been hectic and Little C has been grumpy!

Phineas has been VERY busy again the past few days.  One night he brought us the Elf movie to watch together while the boys were in the tub.  Such a thoughtful little elf he is!

We found him showing his artistic side, drawing so lively pictures for the boys.  Big A decided to draw Phineas a picture of the two of them is elf clothing holding hands!  So cute!


The next night IMG_6537Phineas took down the pigs in a game of Angry Birds.  Added bonus was that the cats knocked part of the game over in the night so it looked like Phineas had been doing really well!


Last night Phineas snuck into the chocolate covered pretzels I made.  We found him hiding in the fridge this morning with chocolate all over his face!  He stayed in there all day too . . . the cold must remind him of home.

Tonight he decided he ought to take a bath and wash all the chocolate off.  Notice he is washing his armpit?  He must have elf b.o.


Phineas’s Adventures Part 3

2 Dec

Call it Extreme Elfing!  Phineas was found earlier this week bungee, er Slinky, jumping from our ceiling fan!  Fortunately he can’t lose his magic if Mommy touches him, only if a child does, because Big A was worried all the blood was going to rush to his head and make him vomit!  So, I rescued him and put him in a safer place.  I had to tell the boys that only adults can handle Phineas without taking his magic because sometimes he needs to moved off the floor before we leave for work and school.   I can just imagine the looks of horror on the boys’ faces if they were to come home to find that our dog had ripped Phineas’s head off and the cats were playing soccer with his innards!  -shudder-


The following night, Phineas must have decided to be a little less daring.  We found him enjoying a ride on a Ferris wheel with a new friend!  The creepy  adorable little elf he is holding is from a new movie that looks a bit frightening . . . I don’t know, it came with a happy meal and the kids won’t let me throw it out!  At any rate, the little guy must have made Phineas feel more at home, because the next day he appeared again, joining Phineas in a monster truck rally!  I thought the boys were really going to get a kick out of the monster truck rally . . . Big A did . . . but Little C was REALLY pissed that Phineas was riding his motor cycle without asking!IMG_6503IMG_6502

Last night I think Phineas we trying to hint at something, maybe that he thinks Big A needs to practice his guitar more often?


Have a great week!

Critter Couture

17 Apr

Both my kids have a serious stuffed animal hoarding issue.  I mean it’s REALLY bad!  But lately the issue is not so much the hoarding of the animals as it is the arguing over which animal belongs to which kid!  Allen the puppies, kitties, bears, aliens . . . they keep getting them as gifts from people who don’t want them to fight so they get them identical critters.  This causes the “That’s MY bunny!  Moooooom, he’s coloring on MY bunny!”

So today I came up with the answer to the ever popular question in my house “Which on is mine?”  That’s right, ladies and gentlemen . . .Critter Couture!  A VERY simple way to tell tell the identical furry friends apart.  A few scraps of felt, a little hand sewing, and viola!  Our stuffed animals have their very own fashion line!

It helps if you make a little template out of paper or an old cardboard box before you cut the fabric/felt.  I made a top hat and a Santa style hat.  For the top hat

A tall rectangle for the top,a circle for the top of the hat,  a circle slightly wider than the rest

angle for the brim.  Sew the rectangle together at one end, then sew the top on.  Flip inside out (or what will actually right side out) and sew the bottom circle in.  It really works best of you cut the center of the circle out and then sew from the inside so the seam is hidden.

I glued a little ribbon around the base of the hat where it meet the brim too.  So it’s fancy!  Then I flipped the brim upward and actually sewed it to the stuffed animal’s head.  He’s was a very good patient, didn’t make a peep!

For the Santa hat:

A triangle for the main part of the hat and a circle with the center cut out for the edges of the hat.  One little pompom for the top of the hat.

You need to cut more of a rounded “cone shape” than a triangle, or the edges won’t meet up perfectly.  Sew down the edge of the cone, flip inside out (right side out) and sew the circle inside of the cone so that it’s like a little lip around the bottom.  Or to be even easier, use fabric glue and glue the circle to outer edge instead.  Much simpler!  Glue the pompom to the tip, flip the edge up and sew onto the animal’s head as in the first one.  This little guy screamed like a mother!  Wimp.

They turned out so cute I am thinking of opening up a little shop full of teeny tiny accessories for naked stuffed animals!  I must also add that my boys love their “fancy penguins” and want me to make more clothes for some of their animals.  Good grief, what have I started?