Monthly Archives: July 2014

Pop Zip Zing Crashlings

Disclaimer:  I was provided a 10 pack of Crashlings free-of-charge for the purposes of reviewing them.  All opinions are my own.

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We have an age old argument in our house of girls.  As you know, I have three daughters, ages 7, 6, and 3.  And they are girly girls.  We buy them toys that are marketed to boys and girls, hoping they will find fun in both.

So far, we’ve failed.  The remote control Jeep was tossed aside.  Stuffed ‘Mater dolls don’t get much love, they even turn up their noses quite a bit at Legos and Lincoln Logs.

But I persevere.

Today, I introduced them to Crashlings, a new toy by Wicked Cool Toys that blasted on to the scenes this last spring marketed primarily to boys.  These little 1 inch collectible figures come packed with rubber flex meteorites  that can blast over 5 feet in the air.

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“They’re fun,” said Caitlyn, “but they’d be better if they were lala loopsies or something.”

Apparently, I have yet to win her over to things not pink, purple and princess, but she sure did play with them for a while.

She popped the meteorites, she and Sue lined up the aliens and played guess which one is gone, where one would close her eyes while the other hid one, then let the other open her eyes and guess which of the little dudes were no longer in line.

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“I like the pop up ones,” Sue said.

Crashlings are marketed to children 5 and up.

Sue, my petite 6 year old, had a little harder time getting the rubber meteorites to pop.  I tried and it did involve a little bit of force and moving out of the way quickly. Patrice, age 3, could not get them to launch at all, but as you can see above, she is not in the target age range.

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Overall, the girls liked the toy itself, just would have liked a different theme a bit better.  I was a little confused on how exactly to play with them.  I kept trying to put an alien on top of the meteorites to launch them, but they didn’t balance on there, so I am guessing that is not part of the original design.

We have a little boy birthday coming up in a couple months and I will keep Crashlings in mind as a gift.  These Aliens come in 5 different breeds, aliens, insects, underwater dinosaurs and monsters.  They are sold in single packs, four packs and 10 packs, playsets and a space ship with prices ranging from $1.99 to $19.99 and can be found at Toys R Us and on Amazon.

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10 Years

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Gone too long.

Loved so much.

Zipping Along

The last few days have been fun summer days. We went to a community program that included a kids concert, sliding down hills on huge slip and slides. There was also a fire truck misting the kids. Caitlyn and Sue loved it. Patrice tried about a dozen times to get in there, but it was just a little too chilly. Caitlyn and Sue walked down an area of the creek while Sue threw rocks into the creek.

We also made a family trip to a nearby park. Daddy can reach the “zip” line so Caitlyn and Patrice went over and over. Our days aren’t always perfect, but all of them are perfectly ours.

 

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On Being Present

There is this buzzword, this idea of not just physically being somewhere, but also being their mentally, focusing on what you are doing and who you are with.

I stink at it.

Always have. My mind is always going over what I need to do, how to accomplish it, how to act around a certain person, how they are perceiving me.  My mind whirs and whirs.

Then came social media.  It was even harder to focus.  I was always thinking about the games I was playing on Facebook, who might be on Facebook that I know and what people are saying on Facebook.

Life went on that way until I got my first Blackberry.  Now Facebook was in my pocket, a whole new world opened when I found Twitter.  I could go there for random thoughts, tips and tricks, motivation, friendship and support.

I got even worse at being present.

Hubby started making comments about me and my phone.  I felt judged so I refused to change.  Caitlyn started making comments, so I got her addicted to Facetiming and texting her friend so she didn’t have any room to talk.

It worked, but I started feeling like a fraud. I mean, here I was blogging and posting about all these cool things I was doing with my kids, when truth be told, those things that were pictured were about the only time I was really interacting with them.

The guilt grew.  But dude, I loved the controlled interaction.  I could choose when and how to interact with people on social media, I could turn to there when life got complicated.  I could turn away from there when I didn’t have the energy to interact.  It’s much easier than face-to-face communication.

It was a complicated dance.  Do I admit I needed to step away sometimes to be truly with my kids or family?  I didn’t want to come across as one of those people–it has always seemed a bit sanctimonious when  people say they are going to step away from Facebook, as if they were judging me for enjoying social media so much.

Maybe some are, but it is more likely to be an inflated view of my own self importance.  It is highly unlikely anyone else worries about whether or not I am on Facebook or Twitter.

But every time someone says they are stepping away, it puts the issue back in my face and on my mind.

And for once, yesterday, I chose to leave my phone and my internet world and home when I went on a bike ride with my family.  That is a very rare thing for me, as you might have gathered.  The downside, no taking pictures of our inevitable cuteness.  The upside, being focused on the job of not falling on my butt.  If you read yesterday’s post, you know I needed that focus.  The beginning was awful.  But I was thrilled with how it started to come back to me.  I realized part of it was, I was able to get more comfortable because I wasn’t worrying about dropping and breaking my phone.  Turns out, I enjoyed it enough I wanted to go again today.  I left my phone again and the riding went awesome!!  And we went a lot further on our ride.  It felt great, minus the fact that my rear end is old and wants a cushier seat.

It hit me like a ton of bricks.  I was able to enjoy the time with my family, because I had left my phone at home.  I felt great about it.  I felt fantastic I had made a decision that was difficult to do, just being honest here, and it had given me great benefits.

I told hubby, and in his very straightforward way, he said, “so you missed out on a whole summer of fun with your family because of a phone?”  Um, yeah, I was kind of focusing on my pride for this years’ decision, but if you want to put it that way…

It didn’t silence all the gibberish my brain likes to spew forth, but I have to admit it is easier to shut it down by looking around at the beauty that is our home state and area.

Here it is straight from the horses mouth, it is highly unlikely I will leave my phone very often.  I like the social media.  I like being about to take pictures of my kids.  They’re cute, what can I say, but leaving it home for bike riding…that was a win.  And I’m overly proud of it.

Because my kids are amazingly cute, here are some pictures that I took of Patrice while walking down to the end of our street with her so she could ride her bike.  I mean, a 3 year old in a bike helmet.  Oh, the cute.

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FYI– I almost got hit by a car while on said walk/ride with Patrice because I was so busy Fakebooking.  So there you have it.