Thursday, April 9, 2015

Plastic is taking over our house (and porch and yard)

We generally pride ourselves in keeping things pretty homemade and original around here.  I am certainly not making any clothes or anything that ambitious but Matt's been doing a fair amount of woodworking lately while I bake a lot from scratch and have gotten into sewing lately.  We have only one store-bought bookshelf (and 3 made by Matt and one by my Grandpa) and haven't bought bread from a store in over 2 years.  There are many parts of our life where we are pretty original and homemade.  Then there is all of Luke'  Accessories??  Somehow, Little Tikes has overtaken our house and I'm not really sure how it happened.

It all started so innocently.  We wanted a sandbox for Luke.  Matt has big plans to make a playset for Luke + future kids at our next house but we have a pretty small yard here and don't want to mess with moving anything huge (Matt has huge plans).  Even though we have no plans to move for yeeeears.  So Luke got a Little Tikes sandbox about a year ago.

It was our first purchase from Toys R Us...ever?  I felt like a huge hypocrite and horrible parents.  I don't like that store. (Despite using their Times Square bathroom 3 nights in a row in New York, although I guess we did buy Luke a turtle there but that was after price comparing at 3 stores and theirs was the cheapest.  But besides that!)  It got a decent amount of play last summer and Luke has been asking for it when he sees it in the garage the past few weeks.  So that was #1.

Then last summer we were offered a collapsible picnic table (unfortunately not the blue/green one pictured.  I'd much rather have that one!).  We figured it would come in handy when having multiple kids over to eat or when we have multiple of our own.  Or when babysitting for 4 other kids while our bathroom was being remodeled and we had to hang out in the backyard to avoid the massive mess inside.
Luke is the one on the lower right.
Because why not add 4 kids to a toilet-less house?  We brought it inside for Luke's little birthday party for him and some cousins to eat around (and maybe Luke puked there but he's all healthy now!).  It's a rather handy thing to have.  My niece even informed me that it came with a pizza oven and refrigerator built in.  Who knew?

So by the end of last summer we were at Little Tikes: 2, humans: 3.

For Christmas with my Mom's side we have a hall rented and all gather there.  With 19 (I think??) kids under 10 (12 of those 2 and under) that need to be entertained my aunt did some second-hand store shopping for things to bring along.  At the end of the party she offered us a Little Tikes chair.  Luke really liked sitting on it so we said sure. 
I couldn't find these on Google so maybe they aren't made anymore but I remember them from my childhood.  We never had any with my sister's kitchen set but I know people who did.  They are pretty sturdy.  Right after Christmas they were Luke's snack chair of choice.  Either as a table or as a chair.  Then this spring he has reallllly gotten a lot of use out of it because he can stand on it.  And standing on it enables him to see out the porch windows and wave at the neighbors. 

When I got him up from his nap yesterday and told him neighbors were outside he got so excited and ran to the porch to wave to them.  He watches for them the second we walk onto the porch and begs for the porch if it's too cold to have it open.  Watching and waving at them is one of his favorite activities.  And he tells me "table, down, bad, stand, chair, wave" which means: "When I stand on the table Mom says "get down" and I'm being bad.  I stand on my chair and wave."  This chair also gets him to the right height to reach the doorbell, another favorite past time.  Really, between waving and doorbell ringing, he stays pretty busy on the porch. 

The next one is fully our own doing.  We bought this car before Christmas even, when I could get a deal at Target.  Luke has loved other kids' Cozy Coupe, to the point where he won't let them use it (We're working on sharing!). 
I've written a few times about his love of his Cozy Coupe so I don't need to say much more.  But kid does love it.

At Luke's second birthday: Little Tikes: 4, humans: 3.  The takeover has begun.

Then right in time for some beautiful spring weather Luke got a Little Tikes T-Ball set as a birthday present.  It is not something I would have ever thought about buying him but apparently I should have because he loves it. 
I mean, he can't aim AT ALL and more uses his bat as a sword chopping at the ball but he still thinks it's a super fun thing to do.  He hasn't figured out he can hold the ball and bat at the same time so once he's hit both balls he has to set down his bat in the grass (NEVER the patio), go get a ball, get the other ball, and then pick up his bat to repeat.  The fact that he's fielding his own balls is a huge plus for me because it allows me to just sit in the sun, observing (or reading if I'm really lucky).  Anything that keeps him happy, busy, and safe outside is totally worth it.  Also, hat and sunglasses are mandatory (to him) whenever playing ball.  When he talks about hitting his ball and bats, hat is always in the same sentence.

Little Tikes: 5. Humans: 3.

And the final piece (for now).  For Easter we gave Luke a Little Tikes Slide.  Another nice Target deal in December. 
He was a little scared of it at first but has since figured out how to get up the ladder and sit down on his own.  He's also figured out he can slide better without his "Carters" (his shoes, named after his godfather who gave them to him) and will tear them off and throw them by the stairs (where we keep them) before sliding.  Between the slide, Cozy Coupe, chair, doorbell, and waving to neighbors, our porch is the place to be for this two year old.

Little Tikes: 6, Humans: 3.

It's been about a year since buying the sandbox.  In a year Little Tikes stuff outnumbers humans 2:1 in our house.  I'm not entirely sure how that happened (or if it's going to stop).  We might not be so original.  I guess we just accept the takeover is inevitable.  Our stuff is going to increase with having a kid around.  He needs (wants/uses) stuff.  Just like childproofing has taken over, now his things have too.  Now I'm going to go find like 20 things to add to the garage sale pile to make myself feel better.  (While listening to Luke ring the doorbell and wait for my "Who's there??" and him to reply "Luke!" or "Ang!". Either wishful thinking or an identity crisis.)

Despite the many many links in this post, Little Tykes, Amazon, Target, etc. aren't giving me any money for this post or link clicks or anything.  But if they want to pay me I'd certainly accept it!!

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