Sunday, November 21, 2010

Organizing the Play Space

A few months ago, I began to realize that despite our focus on keeping just a small number of toys available for the boys to play with at one time, there was beginning to be more than could be neatly organized on the one small shelf of our living room end table. We decided that a bookshelf would be the best way to organize their things in the small area between our kitchen and living room where we spend most of our time. We had a custom bookshelf made at a local store and then I finished it myself with some homemade jojoba oil and beeswax polish (instructions here). The polish worked great and I think I may like it better than the kind you can buy. The shelf turned out really lovely, and was just what we need to open up this area while allowing for organization and room to play. The top of the bookshelf is now home to our seasonal display and a basket of books that are currently in rotation. We keep several seasonal books and a few favorites in the basket at a time, rotating the favorites in every couple weeks. The rest are stored away in a closet 'library' awaiting their turn. We have a similar, smaller 'library' for toys that are not currently age appropriate for either of the boys. In the coming months, we will return Isaac's baby toys and teethers to the library and bring out the puzzles and shape sorter.
The top shelf has a basket of wooden animals, a basket of knitted animals, some large shells we found while on vacation on Sanibel, and a soft doll. The middle shelf contains some stacking toys, a basket of various sized soft balls, and a small laundry basket with colored silks. Basically, things that are safe to be pulled off without hurting a certain little creeping baby. On the bottom shelf are all things wheeled and Isaac's little basket of teethers and rattles. The small train and its track hang out in a basket alongside the shelf. These few toys, along with Noah's larger wooden train, the play kitchen and pushcart are plenty to keep the boys busily at play.
I am loving this newly organized play space. Keeping similar items in their own space or basket makes it easy for Noah to help clean-up and get everything back to its special place at the end of the day. Even Isaac knows where to go to find his little basket of toys. I also love how it has opened up this little corner of the living room and we can now walk through and into the kitchen without having to go around the other side of the couch. More importantly, the boys are loving it, and will hopefully spend many hours playing happily here while I work nearby.

Friday, November 12, 2010

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A photo (or two!) capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
(Tuesday morning, after getting the boys up, fed, dressed, and to the doctor's office for Isaac's check-up, I found out I was a week early for his appointment. So we went home and spent the rest of the morning lounging outside on a beautiful, 68 degree November day.)

Saturday, November 6, 2010


While the days are getting shorter and colder, I have been thinking a lot more about warmth. We are reading several articles in our Waldorf playgroup about the importance about protecting babies and young children from the elements and keeping them warm so that more of their vital energies can be utilized for growth and development, and not heating their little bodies. One of the articles we are reading can be found here. More about dressing babies specifically can be found here, as well as in the longer article here. While I knew about this some time ago, and make an effort to dress the boys appropriately when we are outside, I feel that this in an area where I sometimes slack-off when we are insde. I am noticing however, as it gets colder, that even my fingers and toes are cold when we are in the house. If I need another layer and a pair of wool socks to keep warm, surely the boys would feel more comfortable in more layers as well.

Naturally, when I think about warmth, I think about wool sweaters, vests, hats, and slippers. And when I think of those things, I think about knitting. Thus, for every degree the temperature drops, my knitting "to-do" list grows longer. First off, Noah was in need of a new hat. I searched and searched for a pattern for a hat that would keep his forehead, neck, and ears warm. I ended up combining a few patterns to come up with this hat/scarf combo (shall I call it a scat?) knit in super soft Malabrigo wool (Ravelry notes here). It seems to be doing the trick and I love the golden color.
I am finishing up a pair of mittens to match, and also want to make each of the boys more vests for layering over their cotton shirts. So much to knit, and so little time. Actually, the past few days, I have been able to sneak in a few minutes of knitting here and there while Isaac is awake. He has learned to inch-worm his way across the floor, which has led to him being able to play independently for short periods, scooting around to get the toys he wants without needing to be constantly entertained by me. (That is, when Noah isn't snatching the toy away just as Isaac gets to it...but we are working on that.) Of course, he is also now able to creep across the floor to wherever I happen to be and demand to be picked up by yanking on my pants or biting my feet. Those blue eyes, when combined with the desperate mama-mama-ma of a teething baby are nearly impossible to resist. And when the fussing gets really bad, we bundle up and head to the park for some swing therapy.
Because who can't help but smile when they swing? Go and and try it the next time you are feeling blue. Another plus is that the cold, fresh air makes baby oh-so-sleepy when we head back inside. And while they nap, I knit...