Thanks to Happy Mama Sharon and her inspirational idea for next week’s Happy Mamas post (she challenged us to pick something in our house and commit ourselves to organizing it), I decided to start something huge today.
It was emotionally draining, physically challenging, and a true test of my mental fortitude.
I smiled, I laughed, I took a ton of photos, and then I sat down on the floor and cried my eyes out.
I’ve never had such an intense cleaning experience in all of my life (well, there was that one time, when Dude 2 barfed while running to the toilet and then slipped and fell in it before dragging himself, while puking, the rest of the way to the pot, that was pretty intense too, because like, you try cleaning barf while also barfing yourself) as this one in my children’s playroom.
Because they’re so big, and it was so dirty, and they’re so biiiiiig.
But it was time. We are a family with two designated play areas. We have the upstairs one that is technically the dining room (Dude 3 still spends a good deal of time here and my older boys use it as their homework center), and the basement run-wild-throw-balls-no-mom-yelling-stop-it zone. We don’t need two fully functional playrooms.
The basement is a necessity (I can not live with the noise of Dudes playing knee football while I’m trying to work watch Fantasy Island in the family room), but the upstairs room needed some repurposing.
Because I have a dream. A dream that one day, this family will be able to eat dinner at the table, like a real family where everyone sits and no one stands. A dream, that we will one day be rid of all of the broken pieces of useless toys we have laying around. And that my feet, will never ever in life, step on another Lego!
So, I purged.
I did learn a few things during this experience…
Like where that one sippy cup disappeared to. Three years ago.
That one of my children (Dude 2 I’m looking at you) at some point ate a ridiculous amount of Smarties without my knowledge.
That cry-talking scares the dog.
That it takes more than one afternoon to clean out a playroom of this magnitude (before after pics coming next week).
And, that my kids have had some really awesome toys (and books, and games, and random things).
For those of you playing Easter Bunny (we give them movie tickets and a piece of bunny shaped chocolate, because that fake plastic grass, gahhh!) next weekend (or just in need of a great gift for a Dude kid), these are arguably the most awesome big boys toys (like ages 4-9) currently available (according to The Dudes anyway)…
15 Best Big Boys Toys
Before I get into our all time list of cool things, I need to tell you that the Kid Kindle is on sale right now at a seriously awesome price for an item that your kids will get so much use out of. Movies, games, ad books. Soooo many books right at their finger tips. (Note: we still like traditional books, but when you have two Dudes who read a TON and one Dude who is ho-hum on reading, this item makes life amazing.) Now, the other stuff…
Melissa & Doug Garbage Truck. We have numerous variations of the trash truck in our home because, apparently, they are the coolest type of truck ever made. I found a partially eaten cheese stick in the back of ours, I guess for authenticity purposes. I gagged, but whatever.
Pirate Puzzle. Dude 3 LOVES puzzles. He even plays a puzzle app when we are in the car because he can’t play with real puzzles then. We love these because they are more challenging than the shape cutout wooden puzzles, but still not so hard it takes him long to complete (I don’t have space for all day puzzle making here).
Snap Circuits Jr.. Best gift for Dudes of all ages. It is literally the only toy they can play with for an extended period and not fight. I think it’s because it takes all three of them to make it go.
Spot It. Can be played alone or with others. We take it with us to restaurants because it’s portable, quick, and fun while waiting.
Scientific Explorer Science Kit. Buy this and skip the microscope. Those aren’t fun for more than an afternoon.
Anywhere Table Tennis. Our entire family gets into this one.
Jokes for Kids. Because homemade kid jokes are so baaaaaad. And Dude 2 went through an agonizingly long joke telling period.
National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Why. Dude 2 doesn’t really think reading is super fun. He truly enjoys these books though and he learns soooooo much. Sure, it’s mostly random, useless facts, but man does he sound smart at a BBQ.
LEGO Kids’ Star Wars Yoda Minifigure Alarm Clock. Dude 1 wakes up with this everyday of life. He’s had it since he was 6.
My Little Sandbox. I had to get rid of this in the playroom purge-a-thon because all of the sand was basically gone, but man did he enjoy playing with this. The din one was his fave.
Darth Tater. Old school fun made awesome by Star Wars.
Nerf Football. We have like 4 of these and they love them. People like to give us footballs for gifts.
Power Rangers Dino Charge. Long time Power Ranger fans over here and Dude 3 is loving the new Dino Charge series and the toys that go along with it.
LEGO Minecraft. Two awesome things, Lego and Minecraft, smashed into one. Can’t lose.