Toys Obsession – Why!?

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I’m in a place in my life that I need to do some deep searching to figure out what is driving me to provide every toy under the sun for my kids. We have so many toys – ever since my oldest has been a baby I have provided a list to anyone who was interested in buying him a gift. He and his brothers have gotten so many toys over the years. When we moved from OH most of the stuff I kept was their toys. Currently in my daughters room there is a crib for her but she is surrounded by toys. I have two tall shoe racks to store shoe box size boxes with toys. I have a variety of sizes of bins to store my kids toys.

I’m currently sitting in the living room where we have it set up for the kids. The thing is they barely play in this room. I was given a kitchen set that you would find in a preschool/kindergarten classroom. I worked at a daycare for four years and I loved the layout of the rooms. We had a science center, a home-living center, reading center, music center, art center, quiet center, block center, writing center, math center, and maybe a special center depending on the interest of the children. I wanted to set up this type of environment for my kids. The issue that I have found is that they have freedom to move from the living room to other rooms in the house. This was causing me a lot of stress because I was having to deal with toys all over the house. Currently I have downsized what they have access to for this time because of the arrival of twins and I’m tired of dealing with toys EVERYWHERE!

Now I should share that I am very protective of my kids toys and I keep them organized. You would think that as a mom of four young kids I wouldn’t remember which toys go where and what is missing but I typically do. The reason is because it matters to me and I used to have a really good memory. My oldest has inherited that memory and he can tell you about toys at his Mamaw house. He may not think about them all the time but he will say we have this toy and/or he has asked me about certain toys. I sort the toys into bins so I can switch them out over time to keep them interested. The issues is I have not been able to do that and I know that it’s due to the season we are currently in.

Two family members love giving the kids toys for birthdays and Christmas. It getting to a point that I don’t know what I should tell them anymore. One family member has gotten to a point of giving me the money so I can pick something out. The other family member has decided they will no longer use the Amazon list I provide as a guidance because I put to many educational toys on the list. The thing is and this is going to sound bad but if I don’t put it on the list there is a good chance it will go away. I’m the one that has to maintain it so I get to decide what stays and goes. The latest thing is they want to buy toys that are commercial toys and you would think the boys would be into it but I am learning that isn’t the case. We currently have out the cars from the Cars movies, dinosaurs, Paw Patrol toys, and “baby” type toys for Y. The younger boys are really into the cars and that’s all they pay with most of the time. My oldest wants to watch TV all day but when he does play he typically play with the dinosaurs. There are few odds and ends but it’s simple.

I am looking forward to sorting the toys and downsizing but it may take me months to get to it. As long as we aren’t moving then I have over a year to get rid of stuff.

Birthday Party (Mini Series 5 (2.0) – Dinosaurs Party)

Welcome to the fifth(ish) post of the birthday party series I am putting together. I love throwing my kids a party. The thing I failed to think about when I had my kids was having them all in the summer months means having separate parties would be harder due to family members being located in multiple locations. Reality is they can’t come up each month for a new party so we have to combine the parties. You will see once we added to our family we started to combine the parties and each kid got their own theme. A new post will be added every Saturday to share all the kids parties.

I posted a pre-party for my five year old because we spent his actual birthday in MS with my aunt who order him a birthday cake. This was his actual party and we decided to throw a party just for him this time around because turning 5 is a big deal. We got back to VA midweek and my mother and stepdad came down that weekend so they could celebrate their first grandchild 5th birthday. This was the first year I allowed him to choose his birthday party theme. I typically pick something that the children are showing a lot of interested in for their theme. They are so young they do not care what the theme is as long as there is cake and presents.

This year I order most of the decoration from Party City and my mom brought a couple with her. My mother-in-law made the cake by my sons request. I showed him multiple cakes ideas on Pinterest and this was the one he settled on. I think he liked the idea of having multiple small dinosaurs he could keep afterward. Don’t let that kid fool you he has a 100’s different sizes of dinosaurs. He tries to convince me he always needs more.

Side story: Walmart carries these Adventure Force Bucket Play Sets. They have two sizes and P3 has been given the larger bucket four different times. I got rid of the first set and then he got a second one from a family members. I finally got rid of that one and someone else got him a new bucket. I got ride of it again and he was given yet another bucket. I have given up and we still have the last bucket.

We kept the food very simple because we just got back from a two day travel from MS and I just gave birth to our daughter three weeks prior. I did make a dino head out of the watermelon. We actually had some kids at this party which was nice because it’s been a long time since we had any kids at one of the boys parties. My mother-in-law set up the kid inflatable pool but I didn’t take a picture of it so that kept the kids busy and we had to move inside for the presents and cake thanks to rain.

I am not super talented but I am creative and it took me years to finally make the connection that I get my creative side from my mom. When I told her about the theme of the party she surprised me with a homemade piƱata. Due to a shoulder injury she was out of work for an extended period of time so she got busy working on this for P3’s party. She filled it with candy for the kids and she set up another candy bar. Oh and we had bags for favors but I didn’t take any pictures. We got a text from one of the father’s that attended and he told my husband the bags were legit. My mother really knows how to out do herself in that area when it comes to the parties. I personally like having favors but I don’t like favors that are junk and things that parents will just throw away – after they curse you in their head.

I’m thankful for my mom and mother-in-law for this party because I really didn’t have it in me to do a lot. Birthday parties mean a lot to me and despite how I felt about my childhood I will say that I always had a birthday party at the end of the summer before I headed back to my mom’s house. I want my kids to have a special time for their birthdays. I don’t remember getting a choice for my cake so I think that is why I am going to make sure I let the kids chose their cake once they are old enough.

My next blog post will be the last one I post for a while for this series. The next birthday party with be my daughters 1st birthday and she will be getting her own party. It will be interesting because I will have had the twins around that time as well. I need to get started on the decorations because I know the closer it gets to her birthday I may be a little distracted.

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