Archive for December, 2014

Happy Holidays

December 28, 2014

Calvin has been home the past week. Unfortunately, all his “Christmas” presents have already been given to him before so there was no influx of new toys to keep him busy. Instead, we did a lot of Lego Star Wars (it’s Lego because we are pretending to be figurines and that a boy is moving us around) and Transformers pretend play. The play tunnel I hauled home from school has been seeing a lot of good use as a time warp tunnel, hiding place, spaceship etc. We explore various ancient civilizations like Egypt and China to raid them for jewels, steal banana relics from the monkeys who turn you into a monkey when they swing at you, fly to space and explore the moon and planets, get hit by asteroids, be chased by guards and many more exciting adventures inside the house alone.  Then we spent at least an hour outdoors everyday since the weather has been great, racing down the slides, running around pretending to be Autobots. I’ve been trying to get more outdoor time for him so his eyesight might improve. It also cheer up our moods when we’ve been running about outside.

We’ve all been enjoying the new wiggle car. It is very sturdy and even the grownups can ride on it. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve been playing with it, but Calvin showed far more interest in it than any other ride on toy. So for $20 and using up a gift card, it was a great deal! I shudder to think of how much I would have to pay if I were in Singapore. Toys (and many other things) are way too expensive there!

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Calvin’s Gingerbread House

We decorated our own gingerbread houses (or rather graham cracker houses. It was much easier than I thought to make the icing etc) Calvin had a field time stuffing his face with the candy before we even started >_< He has declared that he loves M&Ms. He used to say that he didn’t like it, which surprised me then. He tried out the sour watermelon and make a “is this even candy” face.

We also had a short stay at Washington to see the lights and visit the museum. Calvin was a tired wreck since he didn’t sleep well the last night. It was a somewhat frustrating trip when we have to deal with his whining and sulking. We did quite a bit of walking to a Malaysian? restaurant and then to the museum. After an hour at the museum, he was in a terrible and unreasonable mood so we went home instead of visiting the zoo as planned. On the way back, he fell into a deep sleep and had to be hauled home like a sack of potatoes, flopping around like a dead fish.

21Dec14 Washington Museum

Washington – Museum of Natural History

We visited the zoo right before closing but I’m glad we managed to catch the Christmas lights and saw lots of cool gingerbread houses, train sets and a Lego train setup. The next day we just rested at the hotel and watched lots of morning cartoons. I had wanted to return to the pho store but Mr Calvin was sulking again so we decided to just drive home instead. I’m not sure if I would do it again but at least the fun parts were a lot of fun.

Zoolights 21Dec14

Zoolights

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Trigger Happy Shopping

December 11, 2014

I caved once again and bought yet another gift for Calvin. This time a Plasmacar lookalike called a Wiggle Car. It was discounted and I was able to use up a gift card that I wanted to get rid of. (Excuses!)

m001345165_sc7 Calvin has never been big on ride on toys. I’ve tried buying him the toddler ride ons, the cozy coupe, balance bike and tricycle but none of them were really ridden on that much. The only exception is probably his Trunki. We’ve met with such resistance with the tricycle before and we all (meaning me, Johnny and Calvin) got so frustrated with each other and the tricycle that I keep hoping that there is a magical device that he will be interested in and be able to practice on so he can gain the confidence he needs to try out other things. At least in the case of the Plasmacar, he tried it out a few times on his own volition when we were at my sister-in-law’s place. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he will enjoy it.

While I was at it, I almost bought myself a kick scooter too. Since Calvin takes after me and is timid as a kitty, I thought it might be good for him to see me try new things too. Just like how he finally managed to go down the big slide again. I have to admit I’m not keen to go down the slide myself. I get this sinking feeling in my tummy just from going down a slide. No wonder I am terrible at roller coasters… even the kiddy ones at Legoland. After I went down the slide a couple of times and told him my trick, he was much more willing to try it out and finally is able to do it without me holding on to him. So maybe if he sees me learning how to use the scooter, he will practice with me too? Or is that too much wishful thinking? It just seems like it might be fun if we could both scoot around together. I’ll seriously consider it again when it is not so freaking cold outside.

Getting Tempted Away from Minimalism

December 9, 2014

Shortly after Calvin’s birth, I was “resolved” to be minimalistic and not have too many toys. Not long after, I concluded I will never be a minimalist without some seriously life changing transformation. In fact, we are a family of hoarders who would save a piece of string in case we will need it someday.

It is so very tempting to get more toys because of the very tangible joy you see when Calvin receives a present. When we gave him the K’nex robot recently, he bounced excitedly, grinned from ear to ear and declared that he is the luckiest boy on earth. Ah, ambrosia to a parent’s ears.

Well, to put it in context, it was because Calvin had some grandiose plans to build his own robot with a motor and wires. He was disappointed to find out that we don’t have the supplies, at least that is what I told him because it was way too advanced and complicated for us. So when I presented him the K’nex kit that comes with a motor and has parts he can snap on, he was naturally overjoyed. Calvin is really into robots now. He told me a few days ago that he’s not as interested in vehicles anymore because he likes robots more. Maybe I should just start a Lego Mindstorms fund now and channel his toy money into it…

Recently, he has been getting a lot of presents. We have our excuses like the hexbugs & K’nex set are his birthday present, Grimlock Transformer was what he wanted to buy using the proceeds from selling his old toys and the K’nex robot set for Christmas. When I see the ongoing pre-christmas sales though, I feel my fingers itching to buy more toys again. (But the reviews for these toys are great!) I almost pulled the trigger but thankfully, the need to have fillers on Amazon to get free shipping has cooled my ardor.

This year, I’ve been trying to focus more on experiences so maybe I should remind myself so I won’t get more stuff that I will have trouble disposing of when we move away. We’ve been out and about exploring the area, doing more craft (so I ended up accumulating craft supplies and knick knacks that *maybe**someday* might be useful for craft….ugh me) and sensory activities.

If I really inventory his toys, I often feel like he doesn’t have that much. Especially after we visit his friend’s house, I feel like our collection is pretty sane and reasonable. The last 6 hasn’t been touched for a while though it will be hard to get him to part with any of it. Even getting rid of toys he hardly play with can be difficult. At least I did get him to gift his almost new wooden fire truck to his little cousin.

  1. A large tub of Lego blocks
  2. A large tub of Lasy blocks
  3. A large collection of Transformers
  4. Two crates of wooden blocks
  5. A small box of knex
  6. 5-6 board games
  7. Puzzles (2 floor, 2 foam, 6 regular ones)
  8. A set of trio blocks
  9. A set of plastic marble run
  10. Hexbug warrior set
  11. 6-7 soft toys
  12. Great big indoor playground
  13. Tinker toy set
  14. Wooden Train set
  15. Plastic drawer full of little cars and trucks
  16. Jungle Junction tree house
  17. Balance bike (I should sell this >_<)
  18. Tricycle
  19. Little People garage

Edit: After doing some calculations, I realized we spent (we, meaning his two set of indulgent grandparents and indulgent parents) about $300 on toys alone this year. And this doesn’t even include the whole lineup of old Transformers toys he inherited from daddy. I feel somewhat horrified that I’ve spent that much without realizing it. On the bright side, I’ve been selling off his old toys and he did get a needed toy update as his interests had a major shift. Looking at all the purchases, almost all of them were enjoyed by him – About $80 was spent on Lego alone which he has been playing with almost everyday. The other major expense was about $100 on his Transformer toys. He could do with a few less of those robots