The Concrete Jungle

Apartment?  Check.  Townhouse?  Check.  Single family home?  Umm

Driveway FunWhen we bought our townhouse back in 2006, Husband and I thought it would be a short pit-stop on our way to single family home ownership.  Three to five years tops.  We certainly never intended to raise our children here.  For starters it’s three stories tall with the washing machine on the first floor and the bedrooms on the third.  That’s two flights of stairs for every load of dirty clothes the kids turn out.  The children’s bedrooms are also directly above the front door.  Thanks to a double story foyer, the click of our front door latch sounds like a gunshot to sleeping babies.

However the most frustrating feature of our home is the one thing it lacks: a yard.  Sure the missing yard was a minor disappointment when we bought the townhouse.  With the addition of two young children it is a near intolerable void.  What parent doesn’t envision their children playing outdoors, frolicking in the fresh air?  How was that going to happen with no yard to speak of just a modest stretch of concrete driveway?

But this past weekend it did.  Sunday night, hours before bedtime, I took one look at my cranky kids and I decided to take the party outside.  Concrete jungle be damned, we had to get out of the house for a bit.  I put Amelia in her swimsuit, placed Haiden in his walker, filled a plastic beer tub with water, tossed in some Tupperware and let them have at it.  The kids had a BLAST and I got to rest for almost an hour.  As I sat in a lawn chair admiring my own ingenuity I thought “there may be no grass, but this is pretty darn close to what I envisioned.”

The plan was always to raise our family in a single family home with a yard.  You know what plan I’m talking about.  The plan.  That invisible playbook that’s drafted up long before we know what life will send our way.  I’m not knocking the plan.  I have a plan and it’s awesome.  But sometimes the plan changes and sometimes it gets blown to pieces.   You accept and adjust because, honestly, there’s not much else to be done.  Do I still long for a lush patch of grass to call my own?  A place for my babies to run barefoot through sprinklers in the summer?  Definitely.  It’s in the plan. Right now though I’m going to scour Pinterest for more driveway fun.


Blog Round-up: The Fourth of July

Summer is here.  It’s almost 100 degrees outside and this coming Wednesday is Independence Day (or “The 4th of July” as I always say).  Nothing screams summer like a blistering heatwave and fireworks!  The exclamation point to that sentence is that I finally have a child old enough to appreciate a celebratory salute to our country.

I have been scouring the internet for months in search of toddler friendly decorations and activities.  However compared to Christmas or Halloween, the 4th of July is largely ignored.  Note to self: start brainstorming ideas for next year’s 4th before I pack up the winter clothes.

Below are two of the more unique concepts I came across.  I like that both ideas are low cost and simple.  Two vital prerequisites for all holiday projects while my children are young.  One never knows what a toddler will be afraid of or decide to destroy.  Happy 4th!

From Lizard & Ladybug – sprinkles that pop in your mouth!  I consider this an activity since I’m betting Amelia will have great fun decorating our cupcakes.

Mason Jar Sippy Cups from Two Shades of Pink