Well, we survived! Joey has actually one quite well this year with teh activities and festivities. Andy has had a harder time. We managed to get some professional photos taken- despite Andy's best efforts- but we didn't get them onto Santa's lap. Joey saw Santa t school, so that was good enough for this year. I also had some helpful, helpful boys to put up the Christmas tree. We just put on the plastic ornaments and the stuff we had them make this year. That way, i didn't have to worry about breakage (I'm not so much worried about the ornaments, as that it is hard to get these guys to not touch stuff, and I was afraid of cuts).
Santa came and left the guys TONS of stuff. So I thought I'd offer some toy reviews.
T.J. Bearytales is a hit with both guys. The bear catches interest even before it moves, the stories seem to be gentle and fairly simple without being simplistic. It takes 4 D batteries, and there is space in teh backpack for 4 extra cartridges (it comes pre-programmed with a story, no cartridge needed- so strage for up to 5 stories!) and I recommend getting some, because otherwise you're going to hear the same story over and over and over and over again. Great toy. I hope it holds up, I'll keep you all posted.
Hyper-Rides Snake River Raceway was a big hit. I wish it stayed together better, but Joey adores it and Andy will run and fetch the cars to have Joey run it. It was also inexpensive. If you need bang for your buck, this works very well, and was easy to assemble No batteries required.
Fisher-Price Spiral Speedway- another hit. This comes with batteries, and needs its own cars to work well, so keep track of them. Hotwheels cars don't fit well, they are too wide and heavy. However, the guys really love it, and Andy likes to try to hoard it.
MegaBlocks Wizard of Oz Playset- we weren't sure about this one, though I bought it because I thought it too funny. the guys like the music and flashing lights, but the music is not from the movie at all. Also, teh witch is blue, not green. However, the boys like it a lot.
MB Hungry Hungry Hippos. Mom bought this for the guys in some kind of special two-games-for-one-price deal from Hasbro. It is not the game I remember. Its small, only for two players, and the balls don't bounce around well. Not a hit.
Hi-ho Cherry-o is the hit it always is for preschoolers. Joey and I just played it for over an hour, so he practiced counting, taking turns, and following rules. Very fun. Much more fun than I remembered.
TMX Elmo. Well, I must admit, its a cute toy, The guys love it. Its a lot of fun. Why do people try to kill each other for this thing, or pay hundreds of dollars for it? $40 is about right, considering the Bearytales was a little more than that. However, I think $20 is about what these toys ought to be. They are cute. The boys like them, They are not the end-all be-all.
Megablocks truck carrier playset. This toy includes trucks that come apart into smaller "blocks". It would have been fun except for the 15 wire ties holding it together. It took my husband and I an hour just to get the toy un-packaged enough for hte boys to play with it.
So it was a fun Christmas morning. The guys are enjoying their new toys, while watching Little Bear and hearing new stories (mostly Little Bear as well). Merry Christmas!