SoBo Mama's Tips & Tricks

{March 8, 2013}   Home Improvement Projects: The Outdoor Kitchen

English: Picnic table - combined table and ben...

English: Picnic table – combined table and benches, often used in gardens and at camping sites Deutsch: Kombination von Tisch und Bänken, oft auf Campingplätzen zu finden (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Being organizationally challenged runs in my family.  Granny-at-the-Farm always kept my bedroom door closed during my time living at home.  She tells me now that, as a parent, you choose your battles.  It took me reaching middle age to start to understand the benefits of organization.


Unfortunately, I have yet to get organization mastered.  And the monkeys, God love them, received a double dose of disorganized genes.


Monkey #1’s door will probably be closed until the day he moves out.  No matter how hard I try, I cannot get him to keep his clothes straight.  There are video games and movies and art supplies and cardboard boxes and plain old garden-variety trash all over his floor.  I truly believe he wore dirty uniforms to school all last week, because he couldn’t be bothered to get his clothes to the laundry.


Monkey #2 is a little better.  Every once in a while, I’ll wake up on a Saturday to find her room straightened up, bed made, everything in its place.  It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. Maybe it won’t take as long for her to appreciate being organized.


For years and years, Monkey #2’s bedroom has been a hodge-podge of miscellaneous second-hand mismatched furniture.  When Grizzly and I replaced our furniture this summer, Monkey #2 asked for an upgrade.  Her furniture all matches now, but it is big and takes up a lot of her room.  Now when anything is out-of-place, her room looks a hot mess. I’ve gotten bins from 31 Gifts to organize some of her toys that she plays with all of the time.  She’s donated many clothes, books, and toys to charity (usually her idea!)  And the bedroom is still full as a mosquito on a Louisiana summer night. It’s not a losing battle, though.


One of the issues we’ve run into in the last year or so is the kids won’t play in the back yard.  I get it, we live in a busy neighborhood and the monkeys can’t be nosy from behind the fence.  However, we have a pretty good backyard.  And a pricey swing set.  And a dog who needs to rough house.


I recently moved Monkey #2’s play kitchen to the deck out back.  First of all, this frees space in her room.  Second, if she wants to play kitchen, she has to go to the back yard.  And finally, if she doesn’t play with it for quite a while, we can “sale” it, as she says. Win-win-win.


So of course, yesterday as I was clipping coupons, she gathered my scraps and informed me she was “going to the grocery” and she headed out the back door.  Today, she went outside almost as soon as she got home from school.  She announced she would be dining outside tonight if I’d hose down her picnic table, please?  I told her she could have dinner at the table with the family and we’d set up her outdoor dining tomorrow.


I’ve completed my lesson plans and most of my grades are in.  My biggest plans tomorrow were to go to the grocery and straighten the house, maybe work on my blog a little.  Instead, I’ll be helping a monkey redecorate my back porch.


And I wouldn’t trade it for the world.


So what is your next remodeling project?


~ Katie




Gail Canty says:

I wish mine was as fun or easy. Our current project is not a remodel but a complete gut of the main hall bath. It is slow with John working 10 hours a day.

katiebman says:

We need desperately to gut the monkey bath. It’s so dated and not very functional. With Russ’s schedule and my (lack of) skills, it probably won’t happen soon. I’m thinking of beginning to buy a few things here and there and just sticking them in the garage till this summer. You should see what Russ and Tim did with Super Nana’s main bath!!

Gail Canty says:

We need pictures! Befores and afters are always great!

katiebman says:

Well, that project is on hold. The monkeys spent the day with their Nana and the rain has put a damper on it today….

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