Over the past few weeks Addison and I have spent hour each day outside playing and enjoying the gorgeous spring weather.  This is my favorite time of year in Texas.  I feel like I can make that statement with some authority now that I’ve been a resident for more than three full years.  It’s warm enough for t-shirts and flip flops but not so hot that you can’t wear jeans.  It’s fleeting, this temperate weather.  I know that  all too soon the focus of our outdoor time will be darting from the air conditioned car to the air conditioned house before the humidity can kink our hair and melt our faces.  I’m trying to enjoy this with Addison for as long as it lasts.

Addie was too little and immobile to do much outside last Spring.  So, for the first time since buying this house we’re really enjoying our back yard.  Finally.  Other than not sharing walls, I was beginning to wonder if there was more to this whole home ownership thing.  There’s not much in the yard there for Addison to do.  she’s seems to have been content to to just run around with Oliver for the past few months.  She has a little pool but it’s still a bit cool for that.  I’ve been meaning to get her some fun outdoor toys but the choices are overwhelming and I’m bad about picking one without exhaustive research.  I mean, what if I make the wrong choice  and then see something later that would better suit Addison?  Something that I didn’t know even existed when I made my purchase.  Then I would beat myself up and wonder how my bad decisions have altered the course of Addison’s childhood.  These are the things that keep me up at night.

Sometimes the easiest solution (for me and my neuroses) is just to use what you’ve got.  In order to buy myself some time to obsess over which sand box, play table, sand table, water table or sand/water combo would be the best option for our family, I made Addison a water table out of some items around the house.

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A cooler, an infant tub and, well, water.  And this silly little contraption?  This is the best toy I’ve never bought.  Addison is content to splash and play and fill up cups and pour water into buckets all day long. In fact, we have the hardest time getting her into the house once she’s out there in the zone.  I’m not proud of it, but I’ve resorted to bribes more than once.

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We’re working on teaching her boundaries.  She will often steal my drinking glass, mistaking it for part of her collection of water vessels.  Oliver enjoys this time outside too because he gets to drink gallons of water out of the tub in one sitting.  Far more than he ever drinks in the house.  Our garden hose is, apparently, lined with bacon.

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Addie was thrilled when she figured out that she could actually get Oliver to drink out of a cup in her hand.  She now spends a good bit of time following him around the yard with water sloshing over the sides of a bowl.

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Drink?

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Like this.

Sometimes the best toys are not really toys at all.

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