Category Archives: Toys

Weekly Wishes #6 :: April 7-13

Last week’s Wishes

1) Finish picking up my computer desk. – Didn’t happen, it looks worse now than it did last week :o(

2) Wean Mason from Wii Sports. – Not totally weaned, but he played much less this week than past weeks.

3) Buy my niece her birthday presents. – Yes, I got her a Watch it Grow Butterfly Garden and some Shrinky Dink Jewelry and art supplies. Thanks for the suggestions Lori, LeeAnn, and Jayme!

4) List items for sale on Facebook Buying/Selling Pages and get at least half of my consignment sale prep done. – Stuff is selling like hotcakes on Facebook – woohoo!! Consignment sale prep is… started.

5) Be a better friend. – Talked to my friends more but I should have put even more effort into this one.

This week’s Wishes –

1) Finish picking up my computer desk.

2) Less TV Time, more Toy Time for Mason

3) Be a better blogger this week. Comment more and post more.

4) Be a better wife this week. During SuperDad’s busy work week, we kind of end up being like two ships passing in the sea. Make the most of our limited time together.

5) Be a smart consignment sale seller and shopper. Get my stuff done in bits and pieces over the next three days instead of staying up till 2 am on Wednesday night doing it all at once. And then when I’m shopping, don’t fall into the “but it’s a good deal” trap! No buying Mason stuff that he’s almost too big for (even if it’s REALLY cute and he could wear it for a few months) and NO MORE toys. Unless of course, it’s the best deal ever *insert evil laugh here*

So, what are your hopes and wishes for this week? I’d love to hear about them!

Catch the Moment #11 :: Project 365

Thursday, March 13
We had a wild un-handable pot belly pig in today at work to get neutered. It made the morning very… interesting.
Pot bellied pig

Friday, March 14
My friend and I road tripped nearly 80 miles one way so I could see the Veronica Mars movie. I’m a HUGE fan of the show and a definitely on Team LoVe and the movie DID NOT disappoint (even though my friend nearly fell asleep during it, oops)
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Saturday, March 15
My friend gave birth to her first son today, an adorable baby boy (Totally cheating, as I took this picture 8 days later)
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Sunday, March 16
I still have a birthday post coming, but on Mason’s birthday, we took a quick trip to Wal-Mart, hit the Children’s Museum, went out for frozen yogurt, and then at his request, stopped to play with his Cousin Chloe. We tried to get a picture of them together but they’d only sit still long enough to make silly faces.
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Monday, March 17
Mason was so thrilled with the golf clubs he picked out at Wal-Mart on his birthday that we totally forgot to open his “real” present on his big day. So we opened it the next night and he was SUPER thrilled as he’d been waiting for four months for this digger!
Birthday Boy & his Digger

Tuesday, March 18
Missed this day :o(

Wednesday, March 19
Mason got a new book order and Charly thought they made REALLY good bedtime stories.
Greyhound Bedtime Story

If you do a “photo a day” project, be sure to join the fun and link up with us here:

Nurse Loves Farmer

Christmas 2013

At first, I felt like it was “too late” to post Christmas pictures seeing as we are now half way through January, but then I realized that I’M the one who uses this blog to look back at our memories and it’s NEVER too late to add something worth remembering to it, right?

Christmas 2013 was awesome. Santa was very very very (a bit too much) good to Mason and so were the Kohl’s $10 off a $10 purchase coupons LOL Christmas Eve he was convinced he was going to stay up all night and catch Santa (but fell asleep quickly) and it was nerve racking getting everything ready because I was scared to death he was going to wake up and catch us!!

We had him pose for a few pictures Christmas Eve

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He agreed to take more pictures if he was allowed to make silly faces

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Christmas morning – we’ve done this “Mommy and Mason coming down the hall” pose every Christmas so far and I hope we continue it until he’s, I dunno, 20 LOL

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Charly was the official videographer of Christmas 2013

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He was more than thrilled with his presents and very good about posing with them. Each present was more exciting than the last.

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About half way through opening, he had a little melt down because he didn’t want to pick up the wrapping paper himself and he was mad that I wouldn’t let him do 100% of the opening of MY presents as well as his own. After a brief break for a Christmas cookie, he was back to having fun.

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So much excitement and wonder. What an awesome Christmas!

The Problem With Toys

As is the case with 99% of families I know, we have a serious problem at our house.

Mason has TOO MANY TOYS.

Seriously, we never intended it to be like this – our house looks like a toy store exploded and picking up every night takes longer than one DVRed sitcom. Grandma buys him a new toy EVERY SINGLE WEEK (and yes, we’ve talked to her again and again). It’s like they’re multiplying while we sleep. The dog and husband are ALWAYS tripping over toys (me, I look where I walk) and this insanity needs to end.

I’ve been reading a lot lately about how kids who have fewer toys tend to use their imaginations more, play longer with the same items (instead of bouncing from toy to toy), struggle less with picking up when they’re done playing, and take better care of their stuff. Don’t those all sound like a much better alternative to buying a third toybox?

Well it just so happens that the huge fall consignment sale is in a few weeks. Perfect timing, right?! I went into this with big plans to purge purge purge.

Only, I’m coming up blank.

Yes, Mason still has toys that he is way too old for. I’m looking at you, ball popper and ride-on zebra. Except, he plays with these things ALLLL the time. He sobbed and cried for two hours when I tried to give away the ball popper a few months ago. I can’t see selling something he’s so attached to.

ballpopper

He has 6 fire trucks. No kid needs 6 fire trucks, he only has two hands for pete’s sake! Well, he makes fire truck fleets. They work together and put out fires and pull the bus out of the ditch. Every fire truck has a job. So no go with the fire trucks.

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Okay, so he has like 15 monster trucks. Again, two hands, 15 trucks…. Well, he lines them all up and they jump over one another, crash into each other, different days he plays with different trucks. And he knows which ones he has, so I don’t think I could sneak some away.

I have a HUGE bag of  MegaBlocks that I got at Goodwill for a killer deal. He wasn’t too interested in them the last time we had them out (which was at least 7 months ago – my fault) and I feel like these are a no brainer to get rid of. Only, what if this winter he’s ALL ABOUT building stuff with blocks and I end up having to spend $40 on something I use to have in the basement and only paid $8 for. I feel like I’m saving money by hanging on to these.

We do the toy rotation thing. Things go in the basement and new toys come up. A lot of the stuff (like his toy kitchen) he asks for again and again. Obviously, the toy kitchen shouldn’t go anywhere, even though it’s been in the basement for a month. But what about the stuff he doesn’t ask about? Well, when he goes to the basement and sees those toys, he’s like a kid on Christmas – super excited to see his truck/tractor/toy that has been off rotation and begs to bring it upstairs.

So how the heck do I eliminate toys? What do I sell? I realize he’s three and I’m the boss, but the soft-hearted mom in me doesn’t want to get rid of stuff that would make him cry if it was gone. The thrifty person inside of me doesn’t want to get rid of stuff that I might want to re-buy down the line. I really don’t feel like he has any toys that he’s not interested in, but since he has SO MANY TOYS that doesn’t seem possible, does it?

How do you decide what stays and what goes? Is there an age where you say “You shouldn’t play with X anymore?” How do you convince people to STOP BUYING YOUR KID stuff? How many toys is too many? Do you rotate toys? How do you decide if a toy is “unused” and when it’s time to get rid of it? I would LOVE people’s feedback on this issue!

Christmas Morning

We celebrated Christmas morning just the three of us (five if you count Joe and Katze, who of course also got gifts)

Doing our traditional walk down the hall.
Mason saw all the presents under the tree and was excited. Squeals of “Santa brought me presents!!! There are presents under the tree from Santa!!” filled the air and brought big smiles to our faces.

We got right down to business and Mason started opening presents.
He wasn’t very thrilled when we tried to make him show US his presents so we could take pictures

But if HE could look at them, then all was well

He’s gotten so much better at unwrapping stuff since his birthday in March LOL
The fire truck was the one thing he’d asked Santa for (other than a candy cane….) so he was pretty excited to get it.

Presents from his friend Emma and her mom. We had to stop everything and read this book.

Excited about Thomas pajamas from Auntie Joy (I think Joe was jealous)

He was all about the stockings and wanted to open them all

Simple stocking – a light up toy and a candy cane.

This was his most amusing gift – we now have 23094923 blurry pictures of every present he got, taken from approximately 1.4 inches away. And lots of butt pictures too. LOL

Mason was SUPER excited about all of his presents and demanded “Open this, Mommy!” after every one and instantly wanted to play with each and every thing. We got smart this year and instead of doing our usually round robin (you open one, then I open one, then Daddy opens one) we let him open all of his and then let him play with his new toys while SuperDad and I and Joe and Katze opened ours. Other than Joe wondering why he had to wait so long for his presents, this made things go SO much smoother and we got through the morning with no tantrums. Yay!

Christmas morning was special. There were no tears and nothing but smiles and laughter all morning. You know Mason liked his presents when for the first time ever he didn’t want to go to Grandma’s. He wanted to stay home and play with his toys. I’d call that a success!

Christmas Morning 2011

Christmas Morning 2010

Mason’s Tractor

Mason, being a stereotypical two year old boy, loves trains and tractors. School buses come in a close third and bikes and motorcyles are also pretty exciting to him. With his love of tractors, most every big piece of farm machinery is a tractor. Tractors (obviously), combines, street polishers, green riding lawn mowers, bobcats, diggers, etc etc. I know many parents take pride in their toddler’s identification of different types of machinery, but I have to admit that I find it adorable that he calls just about everything that’s not a car or truck a tractor. LOL

When he’s reading books about tractors, he likes to point out Papa driving the tractor. That’s because Papa has a REAL tractor at his house that was once used for farm things and is now just used for plowing their super long driveway. This winter, one of Mason’s favorite activities was to watch out the window as Papa plowed the snow with the tractor and ever since, every picture of someone on a tractor has been “Papa’s tractor. Papa’s plowing!”

With the arrival of spring, Mason has gotten to go out to the barn and “visit” the tractor and has labeled the big (real) tractor “Papa’s tractor” and their nice new lawn mower “Mason’s tractor” and their ancient lawnmower “Grandma’s dirty tractor” and it’s been quite the joke between all of us, except for Mason, who of course, was completely serious about this.

So last week, Grandma and Papa bought him a super special surprise and sent me a picture….

Yep, Mason’s very own “tractor!”

He got to ride it for the first time on Saturday (sadly, I was at work, but they took video for me!) and he had a blast. 

The tractor (and matching hat) will live at Grandma and Papa’s but we’re hoping to go over and visit it this week so I can see my little man in action with his new pride and joy.

This time last year – Katze
Two years ago – Noisy Sleeper

‘No-Man!!

Ever hear your kid say a word and you have no clue where it came from? No, not one of those words, just an every day label that you don’t remember saying a lot? For us, that word is snowman. Or rather, as Mason says “‘No-Man!!”

He points to snowmen in books, snowmen Christmas decorations, and when things (such as light up penguins) become covered in snow, they too are suddenly “No-Man!!”

Joe the Greyhound loves Snowman too. He has a favorite stuffed animal, a big stuffed snowman that honks that he gets every Christmas season. He carries it around obsessively and is very proud of it. Usually when Mason finds a Joe toy, he declares “Joe!” and goes and whips it at him gives it to him.

But not this time. Mason declared “No-Man!!” and carried it around for quite some time

THEN, he discovered that his new No-Man friend had a baby brother. You see, our Daisy Doodles hated big toys and was very partial to smaller toys. So when we found a miniature to Joe’s beloved snowman, we immediately bought it for her and just didn’t have the heart to leave it in storage this Christmas.

Mason quickly whipped the big snowman at Joe, scooped up the little one, and declared “My No-Man!!” and carried him around all night.

I guess both my boys are ‘no-man lovers!


(Christmas 2004)

last year – Downfalls / Little Dictator

Toys

Every now and then, I read my favorite blogs and feel guilty. Their Christmas lists tote all wooden organic toys and trips to the zoo, meanwhile, Mason is running around pushing a plastic shopping cart, with two beeping electronic plastic cell phones in his hands, wearing a plastic bucket on his head.

Part of me wants Mason to have nothing but all these “healthy and organic” toys and the other part of me says that his plastic bucket with a million different uses (currently “hat” being the most popular one) is perfectly fine. And the $8 plastic shopping cart I bought on Black Friday last year that he plays with every day is no better or worse than the $80 wooden shopping cart – Mason doesn’t care if it’s made of wood or clay or plastic, it still allows him to collect every item he sees and push it around the house running like a maniac.

I’m not saying the wooden version is bad by any means,  but when it comes between buying one toy for $80 or 6 toys for $80, I’m generally going to go cheaper when the reviews are the same! I’m a thrifty shopper and I’d much rather spend a few bucks on something that he may or may not love than invest a whole bunch of money into something that might be a gamble. On the other hand, we looked at buying him a train table this Christmas and it was clear that the $50 versions sucked compared to the $200 versions, so in that case, I definitely agree that the extra money would be worth it!

Mason is getting way too many toys for Christmas, but these are the three that I think he’s going to be most excited for:

This play tent filled with balls (a place to hide combined with balls to play with? That’s gotta be a win!

A Rhody horse that I scored on an AMAZING Black Friday deal (as in, less than $2!) Mason is CONSTANTLY trying to ride an inflatable dinosaur that he has and bounces on it as it deflates, so I think he’ll LOVE this bouncing horse.

And a toy kitchen – one of his favorite activities right now is to get out our soup pot and make “soup” out of everything he finds around the house – his best creation included crushed graham crackers and Kleenexes. He also LOVES to watch SuperDad cook and gravitates towards the toy kitchen at the indoor playground, so I’m hoping this will be a win.

So what are you excited to be giving your kids for Christmas? Where do you fall on the “I’ll pay extra to have it be not-plastic?” And, most importantly,are you shunning me because Mason is covered in plastic but still incredibly happy? (KIDDING)

This time last year – Grayson’s Death (aka Please Rearface your Babies) / Christmas Wizard

Watertable Fun Part 2

There was just too many pictures to post yesterday, so here are the rest!

I bought this table online in a Black Friday sale last Thanksgiving and was surprised by how small and BUSY it was when we finally took it out of the box last week, but I think it will still be perfect for Mason’s first summer of fun in the sun!

One Year Ago – Just a Photo


Thrifting

While I’m not big into fashion and vintage clothes and household items, I still LOVE shopping at thrift stores and garage sales. 80% of my warddrobe is from the local thrift store and Mason’s book collection is growing in leaps and bounds from garage sales. Why pay $7 for a board book when I can get it for 50 cents?!

I find it VERY amusing that three years ago, Auntie Sarah and I would purposely avoid garage sales that had a bunch of kid stuff at them and now, those are the only kind I intentially seek out.  Last Saturday, I hit paydirt and ended up buying Mason three outfits, two big toys, and about 15 books for $10! Then, at our local animal shelter’s garage sale today, I scored him two BAGS of clothes, this awesome $40 ride on lion (the second to last picture shows it in “ride on” mode),  and another dozen books for just $9!

Mason approves of his 25 cent ride on turtle!