Two weekends ago, we had a graduation party in Brooklyn at 4pm on a Saturday afternoon. This meant we had to skip going to the new house for the weekend.
I know, first world problems.
We’ve only been going out to the house on weekends for the past month, so I don’t know why all previous knowledge of urban summer activities suddenly flew out the window, but Mike and I sat in our messy living room, staring blankly at each other, while the kids demanded more television and dripped their juice boxes on the carpet.
We finally decided what to do.
After the party, we would drive straight out to the house so we could wake up there Sunday morning and still have the day to play outside. Mike claimed we were “saving the weekend”, as if all other summer weekends for the past four years have been a total waste of time.
“Playing outside” probably sounds like the simplest thing in the world to most people, but for city parents like myself, it’s always more complicated. In the city, “playing outside” consists of getting dressed, putting on shoes, packing the diaper bag, stocking the stroller, filling water bottles, forcing Mazzy to go to the bathroom, picking a mode of transportation, trying to keep everyone from getting run over in the street, arguing over available playground options (this one is in the shade, that one has the good jungle gym, this one’s sandbox has questionable things lurking inside, that one’s sandbox is located too close to the water fountain), etc. etc.
It’s the opposite of easy.
At the house, on the other hand, I can just open the door and let the kids out.
They can go out barefoot in bathing suits as long as they are properly protected from the sun.
To make sure my city kids are properly prepared for the country, The Honest Company sent me a bunch of summer products to stock our house, including chemical-free sunscreen, all-natural lip balm and a pair of orange sunglasses that Harlow was especially enamored with.
Searching for products on Honest is awesome, because just by virtue that they sell it, I know it’s going to be eco-friendly, non-toxic, well-designed, affordable and best of all, safe for kids.
If you haven’t bought anything from Honest in the past, they have a special offer for first-timers. Today until July 25th, Mommy Shorts readers can receive $10 off a $40 minimum purchase by clicking here and using the code LivePlaySwim (full details at the bottom of the post).
Honest sunscreen is 30 SPF, non-greasy, unscented, water resistant, hypoallergenic and blends in easily. I always find that baby sunscreen is either too thin or it makes kids look like they are wearing full-blown clown make-up, so it’s great to find something effective that also blends in beautifully.
I should mention that putting on sunscreen is my least favorite part of the day (my kids are squirmy, especially the older one) so having something I don’t mind on my hands is a huge plus. I’ve actually been wearing Honest sunscreen myself so I can just wipe my hands off on my own body. I don’t know why that never occurred to me before.
Probably because of the clown make-up thing.
My proof of effectiveness is that Harlow and Mazzy have been running around outside for three weekends in a row and are still the same color they started. Mazzy looks like she might be prone to tan (if I let her) but Harlow looks like she would burn faster than a marshmallow in a campfire.
So far, she has remained sunburn-free.
The leave-in conditioner detangler is great for Mazzy’s ridiculous mane of hair. It might look pretty in pictures but that thing is a beast to comb through. Particularly after coming out of the pool.
Mike went out with Mazzy one afternoon on an errand and when he came back, her hair looked like she had been caught in a tornado.
“I took Mazzy for a walk on the beach to collect sea shells.”
Collecting sea shells with Dad sounds lovely except that he doesn’t understand the concept of making a ponytail to minimize knots. With the detangling solution, sometimes I’ll spritz a little to brush it out even if it’s the middle of the day. Much less screaming that way.
I was a little scared to try the waterproof reusable swim diapers since we’ve always used a disposable, but was amazed to discover that everything Harlow made in hers (which yes, included #2) came right off with a rinse in the sink. I’ve always imagined washing a reusable diaper to be a much messier affair.
In the evening before dinner, Mazzy and Harlow love to play outside along the creek. The light is beautiful as the sun goes down and the temperature gets a little cooler.
Since Mike is usually the designated chef, I like to watch them while sitting in the hammock (if they let me). The one drawback is that apparently, bugs love creeks as much as my children do.
We don’t get nearly as many mosquitoes in Manhattan, so this is actually the first time I’ve used bug spray on my kids. I’ve always thought of bug spray as one of the most toxic products out there, so I was very pleased to learn that Honest has an all-natural bug spray that doesn’t smell like every living thing nearby might drop dead from the fumes.
All in all, the hazards of country living seem to be far fewer than the ones in Manhattan. My kids are thrilled to have space to run around where they can pick up sticks, chase butterflies, gather wild flowers and roll in the grass.
It seems like the most natural thing in the world.
Just newly accessible for us.
As for that weekend with the graduation party that we drove all the way out to the house just to wake up there on a Sunday morning and drive back to the city that very same night?
Totally worth it.
SPECIAL OFFER: From today until July 25th, Mommy Shorts readers can enjoy $10 off a $40 minimum purchase by clicking here and using the code LivePlaySwim. The coupon is valid for U.S. and Canadian residents (Yay, Canada!). Applies to first-time orders only. One per customer.
This post was sponsored by The Honest Company but all thoughts and opinions are my own.