DesignForMiniKind

Dads, Lately

ken and bee

Hey Dads. I haven’t been an astute observer of generation-after-generation for very long, but I’ve listened to my fair share of mothers and their mothers and their mothers, and can we talk about how gosh darn hard you have to work these days? Many of you get up when it’s still dark, and you roll out of bed and shower and try to tiptoe out of the house so the littles don’t wake up, and sometimes you grab a granola bar or something before you leave, because last time you made a hot breakfast of eggs and sausage the dishes were too loud when they hit the sink and your wife sent you a “Shush, don’t wake the baby!” text from the bedroom. And then you drive 20 minutes to the office, or the hospital, or the fire station, or the classroom and you brew some mediocre coffee and check your email, overflowing with names of people who need you for something. All urgent, of course.

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4 Toddler Printables

printable memory game for kids 2

I’m endlessly amazed at how many incredible resources we have at our fingertips – for free! – thanks to content producers, bloggers and magazines that find value in sharing what they know. Case in point? Printables. With a quick download and a bit of printer ink, we can so easily teach our kids new skills, activities and crafts to keep them happy, engaged and inspired. It just doesn’t get better! Here are a few favorites we’ve been loving lately:

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Dolled Up

the dollhouse book 5

One of Bee’s favorite toys to play with at Grandma’s house is a custom Victorian dollhouse my mother designed and built in her hey day (I know!). Bee loves helping the tiny baby take a bath in the miniature tub, or wash dishes and fold laundry in the kitchen (Dollhouse World clearly produces some very domestically productive babies). And although I have plans to build our own dollhouse together someday, Bee’s a bit young for the task now. Enter, The Dollhouse Book.

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Swirls & Snowflakes

summer festivals

So, old news. I’m a social introvert, one that loves people and is fascinated by their stories and perspectives and nuances, but one that needs to take a nap directly after speaking with said people. It takes ALL of my energy to widen my eyes in the right moments and to figure out how to hold onto that thought I had – the one that won’t be relevant in three seconds because the conversation has turned a corner into, like, Connecticut and my thought was basically somewhere in the vicinity of a Boise backyard. I live in my head, where my thoughts churn like slow ice cream, folding over and over into one another until something deliciously insightful forms, a tasty dessert for my soul to dine on.

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Happy Birthday, Bee

kid playing ukelele

Hey lady! You’re two. I think I’m supposed to say that time flies, but good gracious, this day feels like an eternity ago. So it didn’t fly. It kind of chugged along slowly on a rickety wooden track, uphill and bumpy – start and stop and red and green – but Bee, you know how much I love a great train ride.

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Messes & Magic

toddler messy rooms

I found a remnant of blue Play-Doh on my shirt yesterday, and I cannot remember the last time Bee and I played with Play-Doh, and certainly not the blue color. We haven’t had the blue color in tact for quite awhile – months? – because after a long summer, there is no color distinction. It’s mixed and marbled and speckled and dried, kind of like that feeling in your stomach when you’re caught in a lie, or the moment before the champagne pops open. It’s blurry, blobbish, brown. So now, a new parenting development: I need to wash my clothes at the end of every day.

I used to not have to do this. I’d wash my clothes like, every 2-3 wears, and would rely heavily on this organic alcohol laundress spray that probably doesn’t really do the trick but makes me feel as if I’m being proactively clean, in the lazy sense. Proactively Clean In The Lazy Sense should be a poster, or a movement, maybe. Probably a movement.

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On (Not) Potty-Training

caution wet floor sign

OK, potty-training. I’m doing it wrong, for sure. Because here’s how potty-training was explained to me:

“It’s totally no big deal. You just hunker down for three days, OK? Do it in the summer so your kid doesn’t need to wear any pants, then set the timer for every ten minutes. Give them a Skittle every time they go successfully. Done! They’ll be potty-trained in no time.”

And then. Here’s how it worked for me:

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Summer & Song

summer-festival--5

So, I don’t watch the Bachelorette, but I’d totally give July a rose, absolutely. The weather has been spectacularly moody, vacillating between angsty teenage thunderstorms and polite 70-degree afternoons and hey, as a minor coffee addict, mood swings are something I can get behind. The rain makes the sun brighter, is that how the saying goes?

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4 Babysitting Tips

baby with sidewalk chalk

We’re lucky enough to have a [very energetic and doting] grandmother two doors down and a handful of neighbors who love to entertain Bee when we’re in a pinch, so finding reliable babysitters is rarely an issue for us. But for those of you in larger cities where babysitting fees are outrageous (seriously, $15/hour?) or finding a trustworthy sitter has been trying, here are a few tips gathered from the oh-so-wise mothers who have shared their smart alternatives…

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Spinning

toddler-singing

Bee and I went to the library yesterday, the big one downtown where I have to parallel park the minivan (my gosh, what an adult-sounding sentence). I picked the spot with the broken meter, but it was OK because then I realized I don’t keep any spare change for the meter anyway. When Ken and I lived in L.A., I kept a coin purse in the glove compartment and it would clink-clink-clink when I hit the speed bump in the grocery store.

It’s funny, the things you remember.

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