We have long had a difficult time finding appropriate night lights. The kiddie ones don’t seem to last and the regular ones felt to grown up for our style. Now that the boys are older the night light isn’t super important but I like to have one so I don’t step on a sharp toy during the occasional middle of the night sleep interruption. SnapPower Guidelights replace your regular outlet cover and hide in plain sight. No wires or batteries these stealth covers light the path and don’t stick out like regular night lights. The LED light is not too bright but brighter than traditional night lights and makes for a clear night time excursions to the bathroom. The sensor shuts them off during the day as long as they are near a window or other light source. I also enjoy the movie theater vibe that the light gives my hallway.
Thankfully, LTD has really gotten into playing board games, however the challenge is that BB also wants to play but their age difference makes this problematic (and sometimes destructive). This is a long way of saying that any game that is easy to place and easy to destroy is a welcome addition to our fun supply. Kaboom is a fast paced building game involving wooden blocks and shapes versus catapults. LTD likes that when it is your turn you get to be called Master Builder. BB likes to smash stuff. You have to build a tower as quickly as possible from the designs on the game board at the same time your opponent acts as saboteur firing a small catapult from a foot away. A word of caution as if you don’t keep a tight lid on things feels can get hurt as well as my body parts. Luckily, game play is quick enough that my boys thirst for revenge is easily granted. And if you play on the kitchen table the pieces will clatter to the ground so my suggestion would be the coffee table.
LTD goes back and forth from wanting to learn how to tell time and then forgetting about it. He occasionally will ask for a watch but again does’t press the issue. However, we felt it was time (no pun intended) to properly learn how to read a clock. Watchitude’s Slap Watch was the simplest solution. He can put it on himself as there is no little metal thing to feed through a hole. There are literally hundreds of designs to choose from but he has been digging the planets. The numbers are big and easy to read so he has slowly been learning to read a watch face. I was never the best at telling time and so The Mommy is mostly helping him while deal with BB wanting one but they don’t fit his wrist yet. Another cool feature is that you can submit any design you want, name it and people can vote on their favorite. The winners go into production. I felt old when I looked for directions on how to set the time and of course they directed me to their youtube video. Speaking of time, LTD has spent a lot of it voting for different watches.
LTD has an amazing memory and the jury is still out on BB, but he is getting better. In that regard, Gigamons is keeping the boys on their toes. The game is memory with a twist. The cards feature Elemons and when you turn them over and find a pair they reveal their special power. The power boost you as the game continues. Not to get to technical but after you find three Elemons leads to a Gigamon and when you get three Gigamons you have won. Don’t let the levels fool you the games are fast especially when BB walks away with the Gigamons. LTD is obsessed with the special powers announcing his favorite as Pyromons where you get remove another player’s Elemon. I will admit I have been slowing down my natural abilities when playing with the boys as I do not always want to win, but usually spend the game trying to get BB to bring the pieces back.
Since BB has been bouncing off the walls lately it was time to put his energy to good use. The Mommy found him a local soccer club perfect for his age group. However, thanks to the influence of LTD, BB has decided that it doesn’t matter how you play as much as how you look. In other words the kid demanded gear. After tricking him out with cleats (heaven help all of us) and his “soccer” shirt, he wanted to look even cooler. Having just watched the Olympics he suggested a fancy (as he put it) towel. Mission’s Enduracool Cooling Towel fit the bill nicely. Thanks to The Mommy’s genetic heritage BB not only turns bright red when outside in warm weather he also sweats..a lot. The towel actually gets cool when wet which he thinks is magic. Of course in order to activate after getting wet you must snap the towel so I think you can guess how that manifests itself. The headband doesn’t fit just yet but he has demanded its use despite the obvious problems with limited visibility. Now if I can only get him to kick the ball in the right direction I think we will well on our way to the 2028 Summer Games.
One of the things that warms my heart is that LTD really enjoys playing board games. Of course we are still working on conflict resolution and breathing exercises when he loses. Some of the board games he chooses are insipid and I simply can not play them. He isn’t quite old enough for Risk and doesn’t really understand the goal of Monopoly as noted during a recent game in which he didn’t want to buy Boardwalk as it meant he would have to cash in his $500 bill and he liked the way it looked. Blue Orange Games consistently has creative games but the main attraction from my point of view is that the game play is incredibly fast and therefore when LTD loses we can quickly play again to avoid any drama. Top That! appeals to his love of magic and helps with his passion for hiding things (like my car keys). The stacking game features a challenge with three rules. “objects printed in color must be visible on the stack, objects printed in grey must be hidden INSIDE objects on the stack, and objects surrounded by stars must be kept empty.” At first he had a little confusion around the concept (and flying the stacking hats across the table) but now he is beating me (only when I’m holding BB as he is always on my team). And yes he has named the rabbits.
As previously mentioned, the boys have recently begun enjoying board games (don’t worry folks they are still glued to the iPad). One new game they have been experimenting with is Dr. Eureka. BB has to play on my team for now and mostly runs away with the pieces. The game is basically a brain teaser and even allows solitary play. You choose a challenge card ant then using test tubes and balls complete the scientific formula or as LTD puts it the, mad scientist formula. You can’t use your hands to touch the balls so it is good practice for when one of the boys becomes a nuclear arms dealer, but I suggest you play on the carpet as the balls hit the wood floor pretty hard. Also be prepared for one of your kids to make Dr. Frankenstein laughter and the other kid to copy him.
As long time readers know well, BB is what they call a problem eater (not a picky eater) and in that regard he will not eat anything he has to bite like a sandwich or apple. So his diet consists mainly of mac and cheese and as he calls them ricebeans. The insulated food jar by Skip Hop is pretty cool because it comes with its own spork and keeps his mac and cheese warm all day. As we constantly try to expand BB’s horizons he has begun tentatively eating blueberries. The Zoo Lunch Kit has a special container that is the right size for such bite sized berries. By making the presentation special hopefully the trick will work to get him to chew. They are dishwasher safe and fit nicely in his Batman lunch box. Keep your fingers crossed that he will be enticed by the box to eat what is inside.
One of the joys of parenting is getting to re-create childhood memories with your own children. Of course this rarely goes well as they either don’t care or can never appreciate things the way you did (since they are different people no matter how much we try and make our own clones). However, one thing that I loved from summer camp was making and launching model rockets. The boys are now able to enjoy this as much as I did because, come on, they are rockets. Estes makes a full line of rockets for all skill levels. Most model rockets use the engines that are flammable and use an igniter etc. My boys aren’t quite ready for that level of NASA just yet. Thankfully, they make a line of air rockets that don’t involve me having to explain to The Mommy why I burnt everyone’s eyebrows off. I have started a tradition of having a full launch countdown as each department gives us a go/no go for launch a and then these babies really soar. Soon LTD will be ready for the engine rockets but for now he is content to pound the Sonic Boom which is so hardcore that it goes up to 150 feet. It makes the Stomp Rocket look like home made inventor trying to turn the washing machine into the ship from Interstellar. One added bonus is that when these bad boys lands a mile away I make the kids run and get them so by the time we get home they are ready for naps.
LTD has long been a slave to the iPad and now BB is getting in on the action. They only stop using it when the battery dies but now we are trying something different. The device that looks nothing like a Koala but is called KoalaSafe plugs into the wall and then goes all Big Brother on the screens. You can set time limits that shut off the internet and also block sites and apps plus enforce safe search on different engines. Another feature that we haven’t used to much since the boys are still pretty young is what I call the NSA feature. You can see how your household usage compares to other families and monitors if there is a jump in your own site use. Of course in an ironic twist you monitor everything from the app on your phone (do as I say not as I do). Now let’s hope The Mommy doesn’t get any ideas about blocking certain sites I frequent.