Gabriel and Lucy have a book that we read often titled “Too Many Toys” by David Shannon.  In the book, the parents get so sick of tripping over, stepping on, and picking up their son Spencer’s toys that they meticulously go through them one by one and decide which toys will be kept and which will be leaving. Spencer pleads for all of his toys to remain in the house but is not too successful.  Spencer declares “That’s impossible!” after his mother yells “You have too many toys!!!” At the end of the book Spencer is found playing in a giant cardboard box, leaving all the toys he pleaded for behind. Typical.

You can see where this is going.  I don’t think I’m the only parent that has a regular toy crisis.

Our kids are very fortunate. They are showered with gifts (toys) at each birthday, Christmas, and every time Aunt Mel visits. 😉  They have their favorites and the rest seem to go untouched, or get shoved in some obscure corner of the living room never to be found again until the next toy intervention. They like their toys, but much rather prefer to go and play outside or go do something than sit and play. And G is regularly collecting cardboard for his “Ironman suit” that he is constantly crafting.

About every 6 months I go through the kid’s toys and we have a toy intervention. Jeremiah is happy to let me tackle this job and he is not an organizing fool like I am. The kids and I go through, sort, organize, and try to find homes for toys. It’s quite an ordeal and usually takes way longer than I care to spend. They have always had way more toys than they need, and clutter really gets to me, especially lately. I find their toys all mixed up amongst each other and strewn about the house, despite our efforts to get them to pick up their toys regularly.

Last week, we went through their bath toys and threw out the nasties, soaked the rest in bleach water and replaced them in the bath toy sling. That was step one and I felt a bit accomplished.

Today the kids and I went through the massive corner filled with toys in our living room.


Trying to sort

We are consigning 1 large bag and a handful of others, throwing away 1 large bag, and found a place for the rest. I re-purposed some produce crates for storing dress up, babies, and cars/animals.  I’m making labels with pictures for the containers to hopefully encourage the toys to find their way back to their homes. I have a feeling it may be a lame try, but I’ll try it.

What's left. Organized, for now.

What’s left. Organized, for now.

Then we moved to the art table where the kids have all their coloring books, crayons, puzzles, games. The problem is that we have 2 closets in our entire house and little to no storage. So we have to be creative. I packaged all their stuff up and is now stored under the art table and one of the couches.  Old house = creative storage. It works (sometimes).

All of you moms out there, do any of you have great storage/toy control ideas? Love to hear them!

Have a great week!

-The {growing} Costello’s

Seeing Progress!

Buds.....most of the time :)

Buds…..most of the time 🙂

We are finally starting to get somewhere around here….at least it feels that way. I love being pregnant, but don’t like that I am held back when it comes to getting things done and being as active as I want to be. I am a person that thrives on activity, getting things done, accomplishments, projects, progress, and enjoying it all along the way. I may be getting called ‘slave driver’ around here by a certain husband….but I’m happy to say that I am seeing some progress!

-Gabriel is able to *finally* say his own name!  This may seem like nothing, but ‘Gabriel’ is a hard name for a child to spit out, it seems. He has been working on it in speech therapy and we have been trying to incorporate it at home as well. It’s not clear as a bell, but he is proud to be able to get the sounds out in the right order. Way to go G! We are also working on the ‘th’ sound. Last week G made a book of ‘th’ sounds and was so proud of it. His speech therapist has implemented using ‘Gabriel’s superhero work’ chart as an incentive to get some things accomplished in therapy. We went through a few weeks of G refusing to do work at therapy and saying ‘I no need to go. I talk good!’  His therapist came up with a chart where he gets to use a paint marker to put a dot on the chart when he accomplishes a task in therapy, and then when he has a full row he gets to pick an activity of his choosing. Seems to work well so far. He is proud of his charts and wants to display them for all to see. (see below)  🙂  G has been keeping busy with attending 2 VBS’s thus far this summer and is signed up for 1 more next week. He really enjoys it and asks to go back nightly.

-Baby C #3 has now spent 19 wks en utero and is beginning to make his/her presence known. Not only is my belly stretching by the day, but I am now feeling frequent baby movements! How exciting! Baby kicks are probably my most favorite thing about being pregnant, even if they do get kind of uncomfortable up in the ribs sometimes. At our last appointment I was measuring right on schedule and had gained 8 lbs (my least favorite part of pregnancy-weight gain-ugh).   I am thoroughly exhausted by the end of the day, especially days that I work. I’ve resorted to wearing TED hose as my legs get really sore and achey when I’m on my feet all day. I’m getting less of the ‘is-she-just-chubby-or-possibly-pregnant’ looks and more of the ‘When are you due?’ questions. I like that part, especially when people ask, ‘So is this your first?’ Ha.   🙂

17.5 wks

17.5 wks – even bigger today!

-The deck (for the most part) is done! Fully functional and getting a ton of use, we love it. We still have to finish the stair railing and covering for the bottom of the stairs. I would also like to get some shrubs put in in front of it. Now onto the front porch, patio, more landscaping….maybe next summer!


Deck! And half of the mud pit is covered! (Need more dirt!)

Deck! And half of the mud pit is covered! (Need more dirt – and a railing!)

Love their picnic table!

Love their picnic table!





-The kids are sharing a room for about the past week and a half. We (mostly J) got L’s big girl head/footboard and frame out of storage (read: family’s shed), cleaned it, sanded it down and re-polyurethaned it so it looks fantastic. The room still has some final touches to be done but overall is looking good. G’s old room will be the baby nursery when it’s needed.  The kids really like having matching beds, blankets, shelves, etc. Nap time gets a little giggly, but at night they do well. Actually they seem to really enjoy sharing a room!


G's half of the room. He requires his 'superhero work' charts and superman poster to be hung above as he sleeps.

G’s half of the room. He requires his ‘superhero work’ charts and superman poster to be hung above his bed

Shelves and initials

Shelves and initials

L's half of the room

L’s half of the room





-Jeremiah starts his first teaching job on August 5th, only a few short weeks away! He is so excited to begin his new career.

-I have begun nesting. Yes, I know, super surprising. Along with this, the newborn cloth diaper stash is almost complete, although I am still tempted to buy any cute diapers that come my way that are a good deal. When I got them all out to take a picture tonight I realized that I have no need to buy any more.  Then I remembered that I have 2 more in the mail coming on Thursday…. 😉

Our newborn cloth diaper stash  +2 on the way. *squeal!*

Our newborn cloth diaper stash +2 on the way. *squeal!*


-My garden is producing! Hooray! We have already had quite the crop of zucchini, green beans, sugar snap peas and lettuce. The kids are getting pretty good at picking green beans. The tomatoes are just starting to turn so I’m on the hunt for a good spaghetti sauce recipe to put them all to good use. We’ll see how that goes.



Our new rain barrel! One rain and 35 gallons! G is a master plant-waterer

Our new rain barrel! One rain and 35 gallons! G is a master plant-waterer

-I found a free afternoon to do some domestic diva-ey stuff and crafted up a dress from a sheet I found that day at Goodwill for $2. Up-cycling at it’s best! I think it turned out pretty good and I can actually wear it. Then L woke up from her nap and the dress fairy had made a little dress for her as well. Yippeee!

Dress from a sheet!

Dress from a sheet!

Bed dress

Bed head…new dress



Have a great week!

-The {growing} Costello’s