Monday, September 17, 2007

Toys, Daddy, and a Haircut

No, Mommy!

Ok, to you parents of young toddlers out there, or those who were once parents of toddlers, where do you keep toys? Playroom? Bedroom? Living room? A little bit in each? How does it work? If you keep toys out of the living room, does your child go into their playroom or bedroom to play, or do they drag toys throughout the house? If you have a playroom, is it close to your main living area or part of a family room?

As you can tell, we are trying to solve the toy organization issue. Right now, we have some toys in the living room and most in Ashlyn's bedroom. The problem is Ashlyn wants me to be in the same room or the next while she plays. So, she really doesn't play in her bedroom, unless I go up there, too.

I'm kind of thinking that with the right shelving and maybe something like this to use as our coffee table, toys in the main living room would not be so terrible.

If I haven't said this before, this dual-parenting thing is awesome! I realize that Allen has been home for 9 months now, but I'm still amazed at how incredible it is. Not only is there someone else to help out or take over with taking care of Ashlyn, but it just seems easier when Ashlyn is being difficult and someone else is around. The best part though is seeing their father/daughter relationship develop. Allen was gone for a loooong time, so Ashlyn wasn't an instant Daddy's girl. I love to see her laughing now at "funny Daddy" or calling out to "Daddy, Daddy." Allen's job has also been VERY nice (as in very few working hours) the past couple of months, so he has been home a lot. We have loved it, but, of course that couldn't last. I will be an overtime mom again for the next few months as Allen starts a series of rotations that will keep him at work much of the time until Christmas.

Sharing desert

In totally random news (as if this post was even kind of coherent up until now), Ashlyn counted to 10 yesterday! Of course, she still skipped 3 & 4, but 1, 2, 5 sounds better anyway.

Last weekend, I had my hair chopped off. I'm happy with it right now, but I do tend to go through cycles of growing my hair out and then cutting it way short, just to grow it out again. Allen likes my hair shorter like this, though. (However, he refuses to take a photo of me from a flattering angle.)

So, I leave you with more pictures of Ashlyn that have nothing to do with this post.

We walked through town with her carrying this umbrella.

funny faces

Allen taught Ashlyn to jump on wrapping material. I would think it was way more satisfying than just popping them.


Gina said...

Well, since I was the mother of 3 toddlers at the same time I do remember the toy situation. Loud toys or toys that took up lots of space were upstairs in the game room,play kitchen and food, little tables ,musical instruments etc. Barbies, little race cars, dolls, power rangers and stuff like that were in their bedrooms. Downstairs in the den where the family congregated were lots of kids books, puzzles, and coloring books. Things they could do fairly quietly or we could do with them while still hanging out with everyone. In the garage of course were all the balls, trikes, cars, roller skates, colored chalk, bubbles....... Oh my!

Katie said...

Toys? EVERY-FREAKING-WHERE. I can't seem to contain them. I also can't decide where they should really go. Basically, they are in two rooms--the family room and the basement. She has almost zero toys in her room because we're just not up there much. I never really know what to put where!

I love your haircut, but I can't quite see how short it is! We need more photos! Ashlyn's hair is beautiful too. She is just so cute!

I'm so glad you are still loving the dual parenting thing. It really does take a village. Of that I am completely convinced.

Alaska Dunns said...

Cute hair! I got my hair cut short today, too. (6 months since the last one!)

In our smaller ranch house, the boys shared a big bedroom and I had all the toys organized in there. I loved it like that. We would do a quick clean up before nap and bedtime so the house stayed fairly clean and toy-free. It was a great habit that, unfortunately, was not kept up well during the move. Now, in our bigger house, I have a box of toys in Daniel's bedroom (upstairs) for the boys to play with when we are up there and the rest are in a play room off the living room. The toys are allowed everywhere (kitchen, living room...) but when (if?) we clean they go back in their place in the play room.

I like to go through the toys every few months and throw away all the little mismatched, torn coloring book, broken crayon, Happy Meal junk that we tend to accumulate. I don't know why, but it always feels so good to throw random, stupid, or broken toys away. (Of course, if they are still decent we donate them.)

Good luck!

Alaska Dunns said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Natalie said...

Same line as Holly. We have a play room and we keep everything in there and pick up once or twice a day b/c Liv moves the dolls out into the living room. Liv's good about keeping the table and chairs in there (for the most part).
I noticed that some people use storage cubes for toys. I'd like to do that instead of a coffee table (not here b/c we have no place store our coffee table when it comes unless we got rid of it). Some of the nice and sturdy ones can be used as extra seating too. Some people push them together when not being used, place a tray with magazines, etc. on a cube, etc. I wonder if you could get ones that match your new furniture? I do like the pottery barn table. But, having said that, I ended up moving our coffee table so Liv could have more room to play in the living room instead of bumping into the table, pulling the magazines and books off...The cubes could be moved around easily, sat on, used as foot rests, etc. Just an idea.

Laura said...

I like the coffee table option. That is really cool. As for advice, I've got nothin' for ya but let me know if you figure something out.

christal said...

I think Gina's advice is great! Jackson is just now getting his favorites - which tend to be all books. So like Gina we keep all books and puzzles in our large coffee table for him to pull out when he is having time with Brad and I before bed. We have a completely seperate kitchen with a adjoining dining area (table, chairs and two small arm chairs) - in this room we have three toy boxes on a bright matt - so all toys get contained to that area, and Brad and I can sit in the small arm chairs for morning coffee and watch Jackson play - he seems to like staying near the toys - unless I am in the kitchen - and then so is he. I love our lounge room being mostly kid free - it helps brad and I relax when we can leave the mess of the day behind.

KimS said...

Gracie's got a playroom just off the dining room where 90% of her toys go. Her bedroom contains mostly books and a couple of stuffed animals. When she's playing, things get dragged out into the dining room and living room (especially if I'm in those rooms-- play comes to mama, 'cause mama rarely has the patience to sit her butt in the tiny chair and play in the toyroom for more than ten minutes at a time).

We're planning on baby #2 sharing a bedroom with her for a few years, while they're small, because all the toys are downstairs and it seems silly to have two rooms with just a bed and bookcase in each one. At first, he'll sleep in the guest room-- until we get past the night waking stage.

The Far North Krabbenhofts said...

Lots of good toy thoughts! All stuff to keep in mind. We seem to just always have toys everywhere, and I mean EVERYwhere! Oh well, they're only little once. We try to put things back every day, but they do often get left out. I've tried hard over the last couple years to relax and not stress about it. Maybe that's why my house is always so messy! :)

I think the dual parently thing is great too. One can help with homework, while the other reads stories or whatever. There were always too many things to do for one person! I'm sorry Allen will be so busy again though, at least he'll still be around. Something to be thankful for!

Michael, Joy & Family said...

Hi Angie!! We tend to not mind toys coming downstairs as long as Michael and McKenzie realize that "what comes down the stairs goes back up when they go to bed at night" It seems to be working because they don't bring as many toys out of their rooms knowing that they will have to take it all back. I also have a basket (blue for Michael and red for McKenzie) in the entrance hall for each of them and they know when they go upstairs at night to bed to take and empty the items in their baskets and take the toys to their rooms. This is great because all the little items that I find on the floor during the day get put in their baskets. Hope this helps.

Misguided Mommy said...

So for my sons toys we tried buying a coffee table like that. The only problem was once he discovered he could pull out the baskets thats just what he did. Pulled them out, turned them upside down and made a huge mess. So finally I just emptied them out and purchased a small toy box like this on
and it worked great. He knew where his living room toys were and his bedroom toys. I try to keep stuff with small pieces out of the living room so that there isn't a huge mess in case someone stops by. Then when he feels like playing in his room he can. i am trying to encourage him to play in there on his own now too.

Anonymous said...

Love the haircut! I'm not sure what to say about the toys -- my sister usually lets the kids run wild around the house and she cleans up the toys later...


House Dad said...

Our house has a living area and a small family room. The toys start the day in the family room. Some end up in the living room (and breakfast nook and kitchen) throughout the day but I try to police them back up and return them to the family room. At the end of the day, we all clean up the toys and put them back into some kind of order, ready to for the chaos to start all over again.