Saturday, July 04, 2009

Our $5.47 worth of Fourth of July Fun

The longer we live in California, the more we realize that you really can't do much here. While most people view California as a laid back sort of place, it's really quite restricted by lawyer-induced regulation. One of those restricted areas happens to be fireworks. At least in Redondo Beach.

When we realized that Will was not going to take a nap today, we also realized that there was no way we could keep him up until 9:30 to see the start of the fireworks, much less later than that. So we went to Target to buy some last minute fireworks, thinking we would light them off in our backyard.

The guy at Target: "I think we have some sparklers over here" when I inquired as to whether they had any fireworks. Not that I would ever let my kids play with sparklers. I mean, they are burning magnesium at like 1000 degrees. But I figured, if they sell something dangerous like sparklers, certainly they might have a few cone-type fireworks that we could light and watch sparks fly up in the air while the kids maintain a safe distance?

This is what they had...

It's your typical, mild-mannered Party Poppers on the right. And on the left, it looks like cone-shaped fireworks. And something that says TNT on it? Surely these must be great, right? Oh, but wait, they are actually just slightly bigger Party Poppers. Yeah.

Fortunately, our kids are 3 and 1 years old and therefore easily impressed.

One of the Successful Pops (there were some duds)

Both kids enjoyed the "fireworks" and want more

The kids were ready for bed around 7:30 (yes, Will picked his bedtime outfit himself). Maybe next year we will see live fireworks. Or maybe we will hang out at home and watch the HD presentation of fireworks on TV like we ended up doing this evening. Clearly, we won't be finding any awesome legal personal fireworks. :)

Friday, July 03, 2009

The Best Home Improvement Ever

In our house, there is a lot of whining. I think it has something to do with having a 3-year-old who copies the 18-month-old who thinks he is now a terrible 2-year-old. One of the whining things that happens a lot is when Will wants to go to play in his room or go to the bathroom...

It's daaaaaaaaaaark!

Finally, the solution!

We installed these kid light switches. In the same week, we also started letting Alex sleep in the bunk bed. (No, we did not put either of the kids on the top bunk. The bottom bunk is a full-sized bed, so there is plenty of room for two little kids.)

For the last 3 years and 3 months, our mornings would start with yelling from the kid(s) room. Will has always woken up crying, probably because he was lonely. Alex is a much calmer waker. When they were in the room together, Will in the bed and Alex in the crib, the mornings would be somewhat calmer, with less crying, but still with the "mmmmommm, mmmmmmommm, mamadad!"

Now, with the kid light switch and the sleeping in the same bed? Mornings are much more enjoyable. Will gets up to turn on the light and start playing. Alex wakes up and gets out of bed to play too. They are not silent by any means, but are sometimes quiet enough to sleep through for a few more precious minutes. It's so much more peaceful than rushing to the room of crying/yelling kids.

And, since the light switches allow Will to turn the light on for the bathroom and his room when they are dark, less whining! Now, if we could just get the kids to find breakfast on their own in the morning.

Update: This morning, July 4th, they wandered out of their room, found apples to eat, and pillaged the "Hello Panda" cookie supply.