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I Had To Do It

05 | 16 | 11

A couple weeks back I saw a white version of this Lego storage idea via Pinterest and knew it was only a matter of time before I did the same thing for Simon. I loved how the other one was painted white and I thought about doing that for this one and then decided that the wood went just fine in his room.

In Simon's case he probably needs a few more of these to hold all the guys.

I've had this type drawer waiting for something special for awhile (found most likely at an antique/second hand store). I bought it a few years ago thinking I'd do another photo type case like this one:

photo type case

This specific one was great for photos because it had all the same sized square spaces. I haven't seen another one like this since - I'm not actively looking but I do keep my eyes open.

I continue to be a fan of finding things to put things in.

REAL LIFE MONDAY STORY


This post wouldn't be complete without a real-life-Monday-story thrown in for good measure.

While I was photographing the Lego-type-case, Simon was having a melt-down.

Actually it was more along the lines of experiencing withdrawal. Withdrawal from the Wii to be more specific.

This past weekend he got a new Lego Wii game (Pirates of the Caribbean) and he definitely wants to play it non-stop. The problem is that when he plays for longer spans of time his eyes turn bloodshot (I'm not sure that he's blinking normally while playing) and he has a really hard time transitioning away from the game when it's time to stop. Really hard.

He was able to play for a very limited amount of time this afternoon after some pretty yucky behavior last night but that wasn't enough. There were grumpy faces, loud exasperated sighs, growls, and quite a few whines. And some stomping too. Can't forget the stomping.

SIDENOTE NO. 1 | I had one of those Mom moments this past weekend where I told the kids if they didn't stop asking about/whining about watching TV we were going to get rid of the TV. The first thing Anna said was "watch the singing show?"

Up in his bedroom he laid on the floor for awhile and said things like "what am I supposed to do now?" while Anna rummaged in his closet and came out with the Playmobile pirate ship that hasn't seen the light of day for quite some time.

SIDENOTE NO. 2 | I love that I've kept some of these toys that Simon's not into any more because she totally loves the Playmobile people. She had these pirates doing all kinds of fun stuff - especially jumping from the tallest heights.

After saying "no" and "how about playing with all these Legos you have in here" and "want to help me put some of your guys in here" and "we're not watching TV any more tonight" what felt like at least a hundred more times he laid on the floor a little while longer and then noticed Dr. Seuss' Ten Apples Up On Top book on his bookshelf. He pulled it down, sat up and started reading to Anna and me.

YES! Forward progress. Something to celebrate.

And then it was time to go downstairs for dinner. To a non-preferred foods dinner (chicken and rice) which he ate over the course of an hour or so. He ate almost all of it while telling me and Anna a variety of different facts about Scooby Doo episodes and asking me questions I couldn't answer because I don't know all the ins and outs of the episode about The Creeper. (He's going to love that link to the Scooby files.)

Dessert was chocolate ice cream. Definitely deserved after only one loud complaint when we first sat down at the table.

Later in the evening, after I tucked him in bed, he read me a chapter in Fantastic Mr. Fox. He's definitely enjoying it - it's a movie we both enjoy quite a bit. He's especially loving the book because it included the words to the song that the town kids sing about Boggis, Bunce, and Bean.

After I kissed him goodnight I could hear him singing it to himself and giggling away.

And really, that's the way I'd like to remember the day.

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135 thoughts

  1. Kayleen says…
    05/17/2011

    It is so hard to stand strong sometimes, especially when there is emotion involved as a parent. I have worked with children for over 20 years and I never quite understood this until I became a parent myself and had to deal with some really difficult stuff that most parents don't have to. I really admire your resilience and postive attitude, it is not easy to be that way, especially as I said when there is emotion involved. Thanks for being so open and sharing your story.

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Shawna says…
    05/17/2011

    Lovely...the first word that came to mind after reading your post. What a lovely end to a maybe not so lovely, but still lovely in its own right, day. I am so inspired by you to grab a hold of and make the best memories from the every day. And I don't mean best as in 'perfect', but to remember our everyday as a perfectly lovely day for us. I have a 3 year old (today!!!), and we have our fair share of melt downs, especially when it is time to put away his trains (he is a FANATIC!!! and he is not picky...Dinosaur Train, Thomas, Chuggington, real, make believe...). I think of you and embrace those moments as just the everyday...and how lovely the everyday is.

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. dawn says…
    05/17/2011

    Ali, so glad your sharing this with us so we know it's not just us who struggle with the tv/game times and have kids that melt down. The hardest part is keeping our cool and having patience to get thru this time. My Sam is the same way with his Wii time and throws a fit when he has to turn it off. I've wanted to throw the tv/games out many times. I'm not a tv watcher too much so it would be fine for me to just chuck it out the window,lol. I try really hard to only let the kids use the wii on the weekends only so there isn't a daily fight about it at least. I like how Anna makes herself at home in Simon's room. So great that you remembered the good ending of the day and keep happy about that. I do that often. Thanks again for sharing.

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Sarah says…
    05/17/2011

    oh, how many times have I made the 'we're getting rid of the TV (or XBox or Wii or PS2)' threat? It just sucks them in doesn't it? I've noticed that the days they start out gaming/watching TV, they seem to lose any creative energy - their entertainment for the rest of the day has to be handed to them. Very disturbing. So I try to put off the electronic entertainment as long as I can. AND - if they want more than an hour of screen time they have to 'purchase' it with time outdoors - doing something! (not just sitting on the porch waiting to go inside)
    How fantastic that Simon was able to turn his day around on his own. And kudos to you for giving him the chance to do that, himself.
    A good day indeed.

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. K says…
      05/17/2011

      Ditto to both Sarah and Dawn . . . I've often felt the TV/Wii/etc is sucking my son's zest for life right out of him and I sometimes wonder if I'm the only one. Thank you both for sharing your concerns and making me feel less alone and more strong to stand firm on our house rules. And thank you Ali for getting a nice, sharey conversation started. What a calm and safe spot you have here--I really appreciate that.

    2. dawn says…
      05/17/2011

      Sarah,
      I was just coming back to leave Ali another comment and read this. I agree about the screen time taking away their ways of using imagination and being creative for the day. They don't see it of course but I do. I was going to post about my new idea for using coupons for game time this summer and just like you said they have to earn it by being active not just sitting around waiting to use the tv/games. Good luck with this constant battle we moms have.

  5. audra says…
    05/17/2011

    Ali, Simon's room looks great! Is that a Star Wars poster with all the figures on it? May I ask where you have found that? I have the same thing going on here, a 9yr. old son totally into legos as well as Star Wars - I LOVE how creative they are with their "play" Thanks!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…
      05/17/2011

      Hi Audra - it's a limited edition 10th Anniversary Star Wars poster that came out in 2009. There's a few listed on ebay here: http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=lego+star+wars+poster

  6. Gwen says…
    05/17/2011

    I call it 'screen brain' and the Wii or the computer are the worst offenders. My 15 yr old cannot believe I 'micromanage' his life by telling him when its too much screen time. I find that after overdosing on the screens he has a hard time being civil to the rest of us for a long time. I tell him it rots his brain!

    Reply 4 Replies
    1. Debora Prass says…
      05/17/2011

      Tks, Ali, for giving us this space to share! I have the same strugles around here, far far away in Brazil, and it is just the same! My 13 year old girl is always complaining that her friends don't have limited time to use the computer, and she does. She complains ALL the time, but she has read 13 books this year already, and her friends? Just the ones assigned by schooL! It is really hard because NONE of her friends have rules for computer/TV at home.

    2. Jennifer L. says…
      05/17/2011

      I'm so glad I'm reading all of this...my daughter is 11, and she desperately wants an xbox and a wii; she doesn't understand why I don't just run out and get them both right away, as in now, because all her friends have one! I'm so afraid of the very issues I'm seeing, and it's a chore to get her to put her iPod down as it is! I understand meltdowns, too! Thanks for this impromptu forum, fellow moms, Sometimes I think we all need this!

    3. dawn says…
      05/17/2011

      Gwen, I'm so happy to see another mom of a older teen and still caring about his screen time. So many parents I know take the easy way out and let their kids play on games, texting, tv watching for hours just to keep them happy and out of their way. That really causes a argument with me and my girls 12,14 and what their friends can do. It is the hardest part right now in mothering but I tell them we have our rules and they have theirs. In your lifetime it will always be this way and you need to adjust to it and not let it get too you or it will wear you down the older you get. Sometimes it works and lots of times it doesn't but I'm still standing firm. Good luck with your son and lets hope one day when they are older they will thank us.

    4. Gwen says…
      05/17/2011

      And he still challenges me on it every day and the rule hasn't changed for years! I agree its the biggest argument we have. Some days I really want to give up and just ignore everything he's doing. Great to hear from another mom.

  7. Leora Henkin says…
    05/17/2011

    What a great snapshot of life!

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. Darla says…
    05/17/2011

    Ali I think you are so awesome. I remember an episode with my son when I was at the end of my rope and was afraid I would lose my temper. Instead I told Perry that I was having a bad day and really needed a hug. We sat on the fireplace hearth and hugged each other for a couple of minutes. He then went off to play and was happy and content the rest of the day. I will never forget that moment and how a really bad day turned into one of those awesome memories I'll always treasure.

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. Michelle Elaine says…
      05/17/2011

      I've done that too. I just sat down and said 'mommies need hugs too.' They come to resuce often.

    2. Ali says…
      05/17/2011

      I think that's such a good reminder - a wonderful lesson for our kids that we are all human.

  9. christen says…
    05/17/2011

    there are sure ups and downs with being a mom (and dad) - thanks for sharing! it helps make me feel me feel more normal :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. madeline St onge says…
    05/17/2011

    So happy we didn't have all these games when my kids were little, it has to be so hard to pull him away Ali. Good for you on standing your ground
    Here is to a happy Tuesday

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. dawn says…
    05/17/2011

    Hi again Ali, I came back to tell you of my new idea you might want to try for Simon. Just reading Sarah and Gwen's comments are what I agree with too and glad they shared them here.
    My idea for this summer while they are home all day meaning more time to play on tv which doesn't set well with me. I've been thinking of doing some coupons that will earn them extra time on the wii or computer. If they want more time they will have a list of 45mts active activities they can choose from and once they finish one of these it will earn them 1/2 hour of game time. I'm only going to give them a chance to earn 2 or 3 cards extra a week. I really don't want them on it too much and they will not be able to save up their cards each week either. Every week will be new cards. The only time I might cave in a bit more is when it's super hot out and it's safer to be inside then out. I've read somewhere that letting them have a little more control of their game time makes them more willing to listen to us when we say it's turn off time. Hope that makes sense. So I'm giving it a try and thought you might like to do something like this too or your readers. Good luck to all of us.

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Kerry says…
    05/17/2011

    It really is hard to stay strong sometimes isn't it, Baba is really pushing the boundaries at the moment, and is real hard work. Some days are so difficult and then you remember something lovely that they have done, and that is what you have to hold onto xx

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Cynthia says…
    05/17/2011

    Wow. Sounds like a great day - no matter how hard it is on us Moms isn't nice when our kids can pull themselves back together in spite of whatever went on before. We raised our son with the concept of unconditional love with clear boundaries and it was so hard sometimes. Your patience and unconditional love are so evident and good for you for remaining strong and clear...it can be so hard. We still find (and Nick just turned 18) that if Nick plays video games for too long he tunes us out and can become isolated (I think that is the bigger impact of any of these games and/or TV); we have always and will continue to monitor this as long as he lives in our house - we would rather have his charming, funny personality interacting with us than with the screen. It is a balancing act for sure.

    I love the lego man holder; I am sure he will have some fun with it. Thanks for sharing the story! You do deserve a Mom medal for that one (although the satisfaction of hearing him singing and giggling to himself is the best reward one could imagine!).

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Kim Ryden says…
    05/17/2011

    We have meltdowns when there is no more TV time in the day too! Oh my! She's only 2...I think it will only get worse!

    And we also love the book, Ten Apples Up on Top!

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Kim Shimer says…
    05/17/2011

    I have commented on your type cases before and have 2 pending to be decorated but those small slots are killing me, I am thinking of cutting out some of the dividers to make the spaces bigger. I am still in search for one like yours with the larger squares but great posts like this will make it that much harder to find lol. I found my last type case at a flea market and only paid $7 for it. The man was using it for displaying some jewelry and was surprised I wanted it. My husband thought I was crazy but literally every 20 ft, someone commented on it when I was walking around. I was feeling great by the end of the day :) Also mentioned before how much I love your project life. The "Put on your Happy Life" is that something you made on your own, or is it available somewhere. You seem to have lots of those and I really like them.

    Reply 3 Replies
    1. Kim Shimer says…
      05/17/2011

      thanks Ali, it was a good day, just followed your link to bananafish studio and ordered a bunch of stuff, looked through a couple magazines and found some great saying to clip our and then just won TWO of the letterpress trays with the squares on ebay for $25.49 for both of them!

    2. Kim Shimer says…
      05/17/2011

      oops sorry for all those typos I was still excited about winning the auction :)

    3. Ali says…
      05/17/2011

      Hi Kim - "put on your happy life" is an ad for Old Navy from a magazine ;).

  16. Revlie says…
    05/17/2011

    i so love your real life stories. the best. and Anna is so cute with her Playmobil. Sanne plays with pirates also, the fun girls can have with the boys toys!
    love,

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. Ginny says…
    05/17/2011

    We have the same battles at my house. My 7 and 9 year old sons who love Scooby Doo, Legos, Wii, and Star Wars are really into the 39 Clues books at the moment. I think Simon would love them!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…
      05/17/2011

      Thanks Ginny - I'll check those out!

  18. MichelleR says…
    05/17/2011

    Our kids should get together! My Anna is 3 and knows every old Scooby Doo episode by heart. She doesn't watch the new ones, though, because the music isn't right and the clothes are not what they are supposed to wear. Even the older ones that have different singers for the intro really make her mad!

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Gabriela says…
    05/17/2011

    That is the beautiful thing about being a mom... there are many moments of crazy, a few moments of awful, but in between it all there is one tiny moment of pure joy. That joy is what makes us do it all again and again.

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. Kelly Fitzgerald says…
    05/17/2011

    Best thing we ever did was get rid of our TV.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…
      05/17/2011

      Chris and I lived without a TV (by choice) for a few years after we got married. It's always a possibility...

  21. {vicki} says…
    05/17/2011

    what a great story!

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Iman says…
    05/17/2011

    We have a tv in the family room and the boys have been begging for one in their room. It's such a problem to get their attention sometimes so I know if I put one in their room, I'm just begging for problems. I go ballistic when the 7 year old says "i'm bored, what am I supposed to do now" I need to stay calm. Thanks for sharing this and not going ballistic.

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Kerry says…
    05/17/2011

    well done, great mom-ing.
    love real stories. thanks.
    i have too many real stories to share right now. but feeling a little more normal reading yours.

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. Kendra says…
    05/17/2011

    WOW! This sounds a lot like my house!! We have toys and Legos but they seem to prefer the sqwak box (ie - TV). I tell them over and over that they have lots of toys and puzzles and games and crafty stuff they don't touch. Then I suggest getting rid of and dismantling their play area so *I* can have a scrapbook area. Sometimes.....that'll do it :) Good luck, stay strong ....and pick your mommy moments to remember....it makes all that fuss worth it.

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Christina says…
    05/17/2011

    First, love the display case for the Lego minifigs. I bought a few since seeing your post with the photos inside and now that my oldest son (almost 10) is into Lego people, this would be a great idea to keep them out to see but also, off of the floor!
    Second, congrats to Simon for eating stuff he doesnt normally like and reading books he really enjoys. Small victories are still VICTORIES!!!

    Reply 0 Replies

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