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.


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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  1. Molly

    2011-05-18 12:35:43 -0400

    poor simon! It's hard on everyone and harder for kids who don't transition quickly. We got rid of TV about a year ago, and now they just watch an occasional show on the laptop. Helps with the controls but they still ask a LOT.

  2. Lauren

    2011-05-18 13:53:36 -0400

    Ali, Thank you so much for posting this. I felt like I was reading about my day, well actually last coupe of days. My son totally has Wii withdrawl and asks the same thing: "I don't know what to do if I'm not on the Wii." So I say to him: "How about we put together your legos?" I love the idea of the Lego people display. I have an old wooden Coke crate that I think would work. Thank you again for sharing. You are an inspiration to me!! Lauren

  3. Terri Torrez

    2011-05-18 14:28:08 -0400

    I'm so not showing the Lego guy shelves to my son. He already adopted the Lego drawer storage. We don't have room for this one. :-)

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Angie Hall

    2011-05-18 14:45:11 -0400

    Ali, I thoroughly enjoyed this post. I, too, have to go a few rounds with Malcolm about that Pirates Wii game, which he bought last week, I think. I totally had to forbid him from playing with it Monday because, despite my multiple requests, he keeps dropping his pants and underwear right in the middle of the family room floor when he comes home from school! Arrgh!

  5. keri

    2011-05-18 14:51:55 -0400

    *sigh* completely understand. we go through this with our 4yro. and no matter the guidelines that we set for him, the tantrums are always inevitable. ours is usually with the computer. we tell him how long he can play for and we stress that once we tell him "time's up" he has to finish playing. we make him repeat the rule. i reminded every five minutes how much playing time he has left ... "15 more minutes, buddy ...", "10 more minutes ..." and he always replies with a cooperative "yes, mummy". but of course when his turn is finished he starts a chorus of "but's and aw~'s" and throws himself on the floor.

    sometimes we just let him go, pay no attention to his behavior and he'll shake it off by himself. other times, when i'm feeling the stress of the day, we'll give him an ultimatum ... he can either continue his tantrum, go into timeout and lose his computer privileges. or he can be a "big boy" and go play with something else. more often than not, he's too heated to make the right decision but the 5mins in timeout usually calms him down.

  6. PattiP

    2011-05-18 15:08:47 -0400

    I so love your honest sharing of those tough times as well as your positive attitude. When our kids were young we monstly didn't have a TV. Their friends were astonished. They got a lot of wpquestions "What do you DO?!!!!" They were very creative kids, rarely bored, and felt like they didn't really have time for TV. I really think that our overly available entertainment makes for easily bored people (adults too), and I know from personal experience that it is vastly more difficult with children who don't transition well.

    I very much appreciate your focus on the positive things in spite of the difficulties.

  7. TaraMcK

    2011-05-18 19:18:59 -0400

    Ali, how did you mount your tray? I have one here I have been wanting to use for something and Ian saw Simon's and loved it.


  8. Melissa

    2011-05-18 20:23:29 -0400

    You know, I totally love how they surprise us. Every once in a while Michael (almost 13) will surprise me and say, "Mom, I haven't gotten a proper hug today". It just melts my heart. I love it when he asks me to sit with him while he does his homework. I love it even more when he asks for help with something (even something as simple as how to print front-back on the printer) as he's very much in the independent, becoming-a-man, pulling-away-from-mom place in his life. We have the same problem with the Xbox in our house, to the point that we have to hide the remotes so he doesn't sneak down to the basement and play. And if you think Simon is stomping now ..... just wait! ;)

  9. lyley

    2011-05-19 01:25:57 -0400

    A dietician once told me that if I didn't keep junk food in the house my family would be forced to eat the healthy stuff-its true. That doesn't mean we didn't have junk food-but we had to make special trips for those treats. I wish I had applied the same principles to electronic equipment-it caused endless negotiating and a lot of stress-looking back my advice is-chuck the tv and computer games-go out as a family to watch a movie or to the arcade to play games-healthy families are worth the effort!

  10. Kaly

    2011-05-19 15:46:06 -0400

    It's nice to hear your real life stories. I know Simon is high functioning (I've worked with several very low-functioning autistic children and it's definitely a challenge!), and often I assume you (and he) are able to handle things quite well. You always seem so on top of things, I also assume that things are running pretty smoothly at home.
    So here's to real life!
    I'm glad that Simon had a turn-around. I had to laugh about the supper - my 2-yr-old also takes his sweet time at all meal-times. And he's had a few rough days lately due to a cold. But when he goes down willingly for a nap and nighttime, saying "WAH-oo" (love you), my heart still melts!
    Thank you.

  11. tracey

    2011-05-19 16:39:51 -0400

    love seeing simon's room! what color is the paint in there? (you knew someone would eventually ask - right! lol)
    thanks as always ali ;]

  12. Autumn

    2011-05-19 23:55:24 -0400

    I have a type case stored away to do something special for Samuel and I may eventually do the same thing you did. Samuel is too young right now for Legos but I can't wait ...

    And as a new momma, I have to admit that there are some challenges to having kids but the stuff they do that melt your heart makes you forget all the difficult times. Love that Simon ended up giggling away before he went to sleep. This is the kind of stuff that I love right now with my little guy.

  13. Jacqueline

    2011-05-20 03:42:56 -0400

    I do remember the 'phase out' problems with my (autistic) kids. I tried to soften it by mentioning 10 minutes before time that they had 10 minutes more to play. And then by allowing even some more minutes to adjust... :-)

    I also learned that when they had switches to make, it was much more helpful if I not just say what they had to do, but also started the activity.
    Even something like playing: helping to get the toys out, asking what they were about to do and then play along for 3 or 5 minutes. It took more time and effort, but it went so much smoother!

    Wishing you all the strength and luck that you need as a Mom - maybe today you can snap a picture of his great smile: a different side that is also a part of him. :-)

  14. Shannon

    2011-05-20 23:47:56 -0400

    was looking for a case to do the same and came across this on ebay: http://cgi.ebay.com/Letterpress-Type-Design-Wood-Metal-All-Lower-Case-e-/280680049946?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4159d5ad1a

    thought it was right up your alley.


  15. Jenn Serrano

    2011-05-21 13:48:00 -0400

    We also had a major meltdown in our house a few days ago... my daughter was super excited to get a small part in the school play. But as time has gone on, it has turned out to be way more work and a lot more boredom than she expected. She wanted to quit halfway through but we talked her out of it. Then on wed she did 3 performences and had only one to go for thursday. Wed night major meltdown how she did not want to do the last performance, so boring, I hate it, etc etc. Such a hard lesson but important lesson to teach and learn, commitment, following through on promises etc. Hours of crying and whinning and pleading. She finally decided to agree to do it.... and then did happily do it the next day. But WHEW i was worn out and was thinking to myself, ahhhh parenting is so so so much harder than I thought it was going to be, and sometimes I actually hate being a parent! Thank goodness for the awesome moments!!!! It can be easy to focus on the difficult ones, but I try to find the small and big good moments and savor them!

  16. Mbavhalelo

    2011-05-23 05:10:30 -0400

    I love your story,you gave me a thought of what should i expect from my son as a mother.Thank you for sharing this with us,it is a wonderful story and so inspiring.For more inspiring Story's people can visit http://www.inspireweb.com.

  17. Type drawer twist | Salvage Sisters

    2011-05-23 15:36:06 -0400

    [...] 2 & 3. Picture frame or lego storage by aliedwards [...]

  18. Marie

    2011-05-24 01:26:47 -0400

    Hi Ali,
    Can you please tell me where you got that poster that's in the picture of Anna playing with the pirate ship, right next to her? Like Simonmy son enjoys those Star Wars "guys". Thanks

  19. Project Life | Week Twenty | Ali Edwards

    2011-05-24 06:01:33 -0400

    [...] insert that includes this story from last week. I used one of my long journalers to hold the [...]

  20. Margaret

    2011-05-24 09:19:43 -0400

    The lego display is such a cool idea! This would definitely save my bare feet from unwanted interactions with those little men :)

  21. Stephanie

    2011-05-24 13:26:52 -0400

    I feel your pain w/ the Wii. I have to limit our son's time on it also. Too long and he gets a migrane...I think they just zone out and it's difficult for them to transition back to reality after they've gotten sucked into the game, Mario or Lego Star Wars or whatever it may be. Ali, I love the idea about using the printer drawer for mini fig storage...I'm going to try that. My DH and I each have a print drawer handed down from our respective families. I used mine to create a picture arrangement after seeing yours in the DIY section of your site. I cherish it each time I see it hanging on the wall. Thanks to you again, now I know what we're going to do with the other drawer. Our son is way into legos just like your Simon. He would love this idea. Thanks again for sharing your creative ideas here.

  22. carey

    2011-05-30 16:07:51 -0400

    Hi Ali,
    I've loved your type drawer idea since I first spotted it forever ago! And I happened upon one at an antique sale this weekend. Yay! So, I was curious if you had any tips/preferences on hanging them securely?
    Thanks in advance for your response and thanks so much for all of your inspiring ideas!

  23. heather starr

    2011-06-15 15:23:46 -0400

    hi ali! just stumbled across your blog from pinterest! love love love this! just bought one on ebay! thanks for sharing! i would love to know where to find those little hanging globes if anyone knows! :)

  24. Brains 'N Motion Happenings » Storage Idea-Lego Figures

    2011-09-06 10:32:02 -0400

    [...] Ali Edwards painted and hung a printer’s type drawer in her son’s bedroom to keep all his little Lego Figures organized. Not only is this storage solution convenient but it is also decorative. In this case she used an old printer’s drawer, which is why it already has all those smaller divisions, but I am thinking one can also divide any regular old drawer. Also, scrapbooking stores sometimes sell them. No comments [...]

  25. Brandi

    2012-03-26 10:42:23 -0400

    Hi Ali-
    Could you please share the wall color of Simon's room? I've been looking fir a color for my Son's room & this looks great.

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