Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Face of the Unwrap

I could never quite capture their looks as they unwrapped their presents, and then I realized I did it perfectly. How about you?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Top Ten Toys to Not Get!

I've been writing this post for weeks, each time I sneak a toy into the garbage or give-away-closet. Nothing is worse than an annoying toy that's only purpose it to hurt bare feet as you maneuver your way across the floor. And there is nothing more glorious than a toy that gets played with over and over again...and is not a video game!

I read in our local paper that the best toys are the ones that are 90% kid and only 10% toy. The examples would be a plain doll: 90% kids/10% toy or a Tickle-Me-Elmo: 90% toy and 10% kid.

So here are items to avoid:

1. Bakuguns: at first they seemed fabulous, but for my kids they were not long-lasting. They lasted the afternoon, but that was about it. I know there is a game to play with them, but I nor the kids put the energy into playing by the rules.

2. Trick Tracks: the funny thing about this, is that I posted on this about three years ago, raving about how great they were. I have a box full of them and most of them are broken and no one plays with them.

3. Coloring books: so I've discovered that my boys, and maybe all boys, prefer white drawing paper or puzzle/maze books, but not coloring books. I have a drawer of these classic coloring books that I should use for fire starter.

4. Small action figures found at McDonalds: throw all of these away or just don't buy them! I guess they are good for a road trip and some mindless entertainments in the van.

5. A super cool, child's accordion: I bought this before my oldest was born and had visions of kids playing tunes on it for hours. I think, in the last 6 years, it has been played for no more that 5 seconds at a time, but I still keep it because it looks cool and I never step on it.

6. Mini-skate boards: I think my kids are too young, not sure. But my oldest was sure he wanted some and a mini-state ramp. I never step on this either because it never leaves the toy shelves.

7. Tinker Toys: I really thought these would be great, but there are just too many pieces and the tubs do not come with enough to allow for any to get lost. Once you loose a few, you can't really make anything very exciting. I'm ready to haul these off, but I keep them around hoping my youngest might discover them on lonely days when his older brothers are in school.

8. Lincoln Logs: Also something my oldest did play with right around age two, but I ended up doing must of the building and once they were old enough to build with them, they lost all interest. You can pretty much only build square structures and there isn't enough room for imagination.

9. Transformers: I hate these things. They are too hard for my boys to transform, so I spend a lot of time doing it and then they eventually break. The idea of them is cool, but I think it is better to let them watch a 30 min. episode and then play-act the story than actually buy them a plastic version.

10. Dodge Ball set with Velcro vest and balls: You'd think this would be a great gift, but it isn't. The balls are too light to really be thrown any distance and even my husband and I had trouble getting them to stick onto the vests. Just let your kids throw pillows at each other as they run across the living room, way more fun.

The Top Ten List of Toys to Get is coming.....

Thursday, December 8, 2011

What's On Your Christmas Tree?

I know you are jealous of my kid-theme-tree. I had a very heavy, ugly, dough ornament that I made as a child, and I made sure it always had a place on our family tree. As I got older I still wanted it on our tree, but would hide it near the back and toward the bottom.

This is my son's ugly ornament he made two years ago with his Grammy. And that is why he loves it. I suggested we not hang it, "No, I made that with Grammy!" And so it is front and center.

What ugly ornament adorns your tree and why?