Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas roundup

I suppose it's probably a little late in the game for a Christmas gift roundup post, but they're fun so I'm doing one anyway. For the first year ever, I actually managed to reign in my impulse to buy just a few more gifts for us to wrap up for the kids to be from us. Every year I panic at the eleventh hour that we won't be giving them enough, then realize we overdid it. I approached my shopping very haphazardly this year, buying this and that online starting on Black Friday and ending...last week? So I expected to get everything out to wrap and see that I had gone over the top yet again, but no! Success!

We really doubled down on both boys' current inclination to play with trains, so I'm hoping that pays off and the interest lingers for at least a few more months. I ordered these cool adapter thingies to integrate our wooden train tracks with Duplos. When they arrived and we realized they'd be pretty unimpressive as a wrapped gift, MB decided he will wait until the kids go to bed on Christmas Eve and then set up an epic train track for them. To that end, he requested that I order additional track pieces, connectors, and bumpers. I am looking forward to seeing what he comes up with. Knowing him, it will be awesome.

I hit upon some pretty wicked deals on official Chuggington stuff, so each kid is getting a nice set to unwrap from us. Elliott is getting the clock tower and Nico is getting the super cool swing bridge with two train characters added. Even though I know some people say clothes should never be wrapped up as presents, I wrapped shirts for each of the kids. Nico is getting the structure of the Sun, both kids are getting the planets to scale (both from Lands' End) and Elliott is getting Awesome Space Explorer (Old Navy).

I went back and forth for weeks on getting this stupidly expensive but really cool Lego set for Nico, but I finally decided I didn't want to risk missing the window of it being available or him being really interested in both rockets and Lego. It's going to be the big gift he unwraps at my parents' house from my mom, my dad, and my sister. They bought Elliott a massive double decker tower thingie to go with his trains, and also offered to keep it at their house if we decide it's too big for our place. Works for me. Their stocking piles are a little extravagant, but so much fun. Nico's:

>> tiny star projector (I got a pair of these on Groupon and probably should've read the online reviews before I paid for them. We'll see how it goes.)
>> cute little beanie owl I impulse-bought at the craft store after Elliott saw them one day and asked for one
>> Dinosaurs From Head to Tail by Stacey Roderick - this has been a favorite library book off and on for most of the year
>> Our Solar System & Beyond book from B&N. It has board book pages, but the text is definitely for big kids. It's a little less wordy than another Space book we bought, but at a level that I feel is just enough of a challenge for Nico
>> Monster Jam truck & Hot Wheels car
>> Planets, Moon, and Stars Take-Along Guide
>> Lego Space utility vehicle
>> fuzzy socks from Old Navy, requested each year when we see Santa at the library
>> astronaut and rocket underpants from Carters
>> NASA logo shirt from Target, which is showing as out of stock online now
>> roll of roadway tape that I'm hoping won't stick too permanently to our wood floors
>> pack of Space-themed early readers from the school book order

Elliott's stocking loot:

>> grabby hand robot arm toy, as request by Nico, who has one of his own that he'd prefer not to share all the time
>> tiny star projector
>> Solar System puzzle
>> beanie owl
>> Monster Jam truck and Hot Wheels
>> Plan Toys road signs
>> fuzzy socks
>> Little Owl's 1 2 3 by Divya Srinivasan
>> Cleo's Counting Book (another library favorite)
>> train pajamas

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