Struggles between hockey and lego

One thing I miss since the hockey passion has taken up all our head space around here is the children’s lego. We used to, when Ben was younger, sit on the floor and put together entire lego cities complete with fire stations and houses, construction scenes, and many little vehicles for his mini figures. We built buildings and connected streets leading to the police station.  I spent many a Sunday morning, in pjs with my cup of coffee, sorting and playing with him to a point where I considered it my own hobby, too. Then the kids got bigger, the house appeared smaller, and there was less room to spread the lego we built out in the basement rec room. Also the hockey gear needed a place to dry and air out…

hockey trees Continue reading

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What IKEA doesn’t tell you

IKEA may give you all kinds of neat items with mostly clear instructions and handy little tools to put together furniture, but they are neglectful in mentioning one key thing.

They do not tell you about the mess.

This picture does not do justice of what happened to my living room once I unpacked the new bed and left the kids unattended for under 10 minutes.

There was styrofoam everywhere…tiny bits of snow-like styrofoam all over my recently vacuumed living room.

Why could they not play with the pieces intact?

So I did the only natural thing I could: I made them clean it up and vacuum.

They cried at first, wanted to help assemble the bed. Then they fought over who got to vacuum first. Then they vacuumed up a piece large enough to get stuck in the vacuum pipe…

It is a clear example right here in black and white why every single thing I do every single waking moment of my day takes forever and ever to complete.

Everything is a production.

Everything.

And.

It never ends.

Ever.

But at least the girl now has a real bed. After I returned to IKEA with both kids in tow to return the incorrectly-sized slate things that go under the bed mattress.

Product review – Ikea Dignitet wire curtain rods

Well, I highly recommend these for odd-shaped windows like bay windows. They were affordable, easy to install, and look nice.

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In this last image you can see on the far left a larger rod along the wire curtain. This rod is used to adjust the tension. Having had these curtains up for a few months now, there is a natural tendency for the curtains to sag a bit over time. That, and the fact that the kids sometimes play behind the curtains, pulling on them. I found that simply adjusting the tension using this rod quickly fixed the sagging issue.

I’m happy with this product.

Shoes, etc.

Because we own more than one pair of shoes each, and because I cannot stand to have them all tossed randomly in some corner or closet, AND, in order to save my sanity, I will immediately need at least two of  these

and one of this.

I already know where I’m going to mount them to the wall. And which shoes will go on which rack. Mostly his, but some of mine too. He has way more shoes than I do…

Edited days later:

Product review – Gulliver Highchair

We used a clip-on chair for the baby so that she could sit with us at mealtimes. She’s been doing this ever since she could hold her head up, usually stuffed with pillows all around her. That’s probably the reason she has such strong back muscles today.

I loved that clip-on chair. I absolutely abhor those plastic contraption highchair things. They’re huge, they’re ugly, and as much as they may serve their purpose, I just could never bring myself to put one in my house. Not that I have room for it anyway, but that’s beside the point.

Many people like to feed their babies reclined. The ugly plastic highchairs have such an option, which facilitates the whole messy mealtimes for the parent handling the food. But the messiness never really bothered me all that much. Sure, there are days when I feel like I will snap their little necks the next time they drop another item on the floor, but mostly I just deal with it. My kids sit straight up at the table and that’s that.

Then I managed to break the clip-on chair. I leaned on it in such a way while cleaning crumbs underneath one of the clips that it snapped off. My bad, and the fact that the chair was about 5 years old and has gone through 3 kids probably didn’t help matters much.

Luckily, my parents had another one, but it had a different clip-on mechanism and didn’t fit our table.

So now I was stuck. Do I stick her in the Bumbo for mealtimes?

She really doesn’t like it much, especially now that she’s soooooo close to crawling. Anything keeping her immobile results in noisy protests which typically last a while.

My solution was to have look at the Ikea Gulliver highchair. I read some reviews and liked the fact that it was sleek, wood (not plastic!), had a straight back, and wasn’t expensive either. And I could push it right up against the table.

Putting it together wasn’t too difficult. But because I did it myself, the leveling of the legs was more than a little frustrating. Somehow I just couldn’t get all 4 legs to be flush with the floor. I tried taking it apart and putting it back together a few times, doing it the reverse from the instructions once as well, and still, it appeared like one leg was maybe half a cm too short. Given that our Sonja is rather fond of rocking, I couldn’t risk having her sit in that chair, even with the belt on, if the legs weren’t completely flush with the floor.

Having said that, once her daddy showed up, we managed, together, to get the legs to fit right. There is no rocking, sliding or any movement at all now, and she’s happy as a clam sitting in that thing at mealtimes.

I recommend that two adults put the chair together in order to save a lot of frustration. Following the instructions was not difficult, nor was the actual putting it together. But having that second set of adult hands help with the legs was, at least in our case, essential.