Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bits and pieces

I've been thinking a lot about s'mores lately. I noticed s'more friendly graham crackers in the store the other day--they're already broken into squares for you--and then we found s'more friendly marshmallows at Target--they're preflattened. Tell me: is making s'mores really so hard?? Sheesh!

We are deep into planning our Halloween costumes. This year things are more complicated than ever, since the husband has a few specific ideas for what he'd like us to be as a family, and J has some pretty definitive and conflicting ideas of his own. Darn that independent thought! I, of course, am voting for the kinds of costumes that do not require much work out of me, so whatever we end up doing, it will be pretty low key. I am no Maria von Trapp or Scarlett O'hara, making miracles out of my curtains with my trusty sewing machine! But I can do a bang up job with a glue gun and an iron!

The husband has been working like a dog lately, ever since before we returned from vacation, and it's been an adjustment for all of us. Since shortly after J arrived, the husband has been in charge of bath time. He gets to spend quality one on two time with the boys, and I get a half hour or so all to myself before we tag team scriptures, tooth brushing, stories, songs, the whole bed time routine. This has been a great system, but it only works when the husband's job is keeping semi-normal business hours. Now? Not so much. Sometimes, things still go smoothly and then there are nights like last night, preceded by truncated naps, punctuated by hysterical, irrational outbursts (the kids were pretty rotten, too), dogged by stubbornness, and concluded with tears only after many struggles to do even the most basic of tasks. On those nights, I wish I were a drinker.

Let me tell you about my genius toy rental program: Every few weeks, usually on some night when the husband won't be coming home soon and we have more time to kill, we take a trip to our Goodwill right down the road. It's your average location, with lots of clothes and housewares and a tiny toy section, but that's part of the genius! We go in, peruse the three little tables of toys, and the boys get to pick anything that catches their fancy. As I tell them every time we go, sometimes we find something we like and sometimes we don't. This decision making process is actually part of what I love about these excursions, because J has to weigh his choices carefully and think creatively about how some of the toys might be used with what he already owns. (E is a lot less discriminating, clearly, but then his personality is a lot more easygoing already.) The next great thing about all these visits is that nothing costs more than $1.99. So I'm totally happy with whatever they choose, and no choice breaks the bank. AND, when we're done with our toys, when they have lost their luster, when we realize that we have no real place for a giant purple Barbie beetle, for instance, we send all the losing choices right back to Goodwill, along with some of our other toys that we've outgrown. So the cost of my visit is really just a rental fee that covers an indeterminate length of use. And our trips to Goodwill are also exercises in cognitive skills AND eco-consciousness. Love, love, love!

1 comment:

Betsy (Eco-novice) said...

And charity! Goodwill puts that money to good use. When I have a thrift store fail (an item that ends up right back at the thrift store via my donation bag), that's how I like to think of it. This sounds like fun for your kids. Personally, I try to never take my kids to the thrift store with me. I do like to "rent" toys at Target though. We "return" them while in the checkout line --- sometimes my kids scream at that point, but it doesn't usually last long. They get the drill.