I’m Board

This morning, we took the Tball gear to the park and ended up playing with various friends. After errands in the early afternoon, we stopped in as a family and got frozen yogurt. Then, I played games with my kids. This is something I have looked forward to for a long time. We started with Monster Factory, one of their favorites and easy to play. We then played another tile placement game called Castles of Caragaba, a game designed by one of my friends, and we finished with a couple of rounds of Yardmaster Express. What a great day!

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Starting to Click

16762430898_7aed8f52ef_kThe bins of Legos, Lincoln Logs, blocks, and other construction toys have been used lightly over time. Probably the train tracks have gotten the most play. However, Reuben has suddenly decided that building is his thing, and out came the Legos. We worked together to build a spaceship out of the pieces that my grandmother gave me for a birthday when I was not much older than Reuben is now. It is so much fun to see the 70’s lego pieces rise again.

Both kids are beginning to be able to play more interesting games, as well. We just dug into Monster Factory, and the kids loved it!16330066253_66ab049ead_k (1)

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It’s Snow Fun

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Rose and I managed to get some sledding in earlier during this winter of snow. Reuben, however, was inside suffering from what seemed to be an unending cold. Finally, he was ready to venture out, and he needed to with an excess of energy to burn. We spent a while in the back yard making our “igloo” and tunnel. I saw a documentary a while ago that showed igloo builders using a simple flat saw to make the blocks from the snow, so I grabbed a saw and tried it out. Clearly, we do not have subarctic conditions here even though people complain that we do. The snow is not the same. However, once the top foot and a half was removed, the bottom foot of snow was quite serviceable. I found this out as I made the igloo, so there are several layers made of much more crumbly snow. I had to mound up snow around it so the walls would not fall outward. Hopefully this next snowfall will help cement the thing together.

The other thing we did was make a “tunnel.” While the igloo had not top, the tunnel had no exit. It was really a small space scraped out of the snow for Reuben to back into. He loved it, though, and I sure got a workout building these two things. Reuben helped and was so excited to finally have an igloo and a tunnel just like in his book, Blizzard.

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At Their Speed

16339260226_615e3374e2_zSnow has finally arrived in Boston. This time around, it was quickly followed by a rain and sleet mix making the snow heavy and wet, but the kids don’t mind. To them it is snow. We went out in the back yard and driveway where the kids shoveled and played in the snow. They were so eager to shovel, but the weight of the snow quickly ended that. Snow angels, however, were placed all over the yard. Then we built a snowman, the item of greatest excitement, but it collapsed under its own weight soon after we finished it. Luckily, we are forecasted to have a significant amount of snow over the next few days.

Today, I took the kids on a walk down to the local stores. They walked the whole way there and almost all of the way back along the ridge of snow next to where the paths have been shoveled. I made sure to let them know that too close to the street was not good and knocking the snow down onto the freshly shoveled paths was also not good. Other than that, they were free to take their time to climb and stomp. This walk usually takes 15 minutes, but today it took a good 45 each way. There was no rush, and it is what they both wanted to do.

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Show Me the Money!

For Hanukkah, we purchased replacement wallets for the kids. They both had wallets, but somehow they have gone missing. I am sure a deep cleaning of the house would turn them up along with multitudes of other things, but for now, it was an easy win to get these. Both kids had been intermittently asking for a while.

Reuben got a ladybug wallet, and Rose a butterfly.

 We also purchased a toy coin changer. This is a throwback to the old metal coin changer that was an integral part of many games at my friend’s house when I was a kid. She had an old, battered, metal one that probably spent time attached to the belt of a trolley conductor. I loved how it dispensed a coin each time a lever was pressed. The one we got for the kids is plastic, but their excitement when using it mirrored the many hours my friend and I played with her coin changer.

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New Bed

Rose has finally outgrown her toddler bed. Probably she outgrew it a while ago, but now it might be stunting her growth. We decided to get her a new bed, and it arrived just before the Thanksgiving break. Actually, it is a bunk bed with both the top and bottom the same size. Reuben will get the other half before too long, and eventually we may stack the two beds when the kids are older.

Though I was suffering from a pretty back stomach bug, I worked on and off with the kids through Sunday to get Rose’s bed finished. Of course the kids were involved. Rose was overjoyed to get this new, big bed.

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Unboxing the pieces.

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More unboxing.

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Reuben using a mallet while Rose holds the piece.

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Rose setting up to tighten one of the final bolts.

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Puzzle Board

15122656084_a493a425fc_zIn my childhood, I spent countless hours putting together puzzles. We had a fairly good collection of puzzles, and I would do each of them at least once a year. We had these 4 by 8 sheets of masonite on which puzzles were laid out. This allowed us to transport the puzzles or put them on top of a table when there was space available.

Fast forward to today. My kids love putting puzzles together. Until now, these were the 50 or so piece floor puzzles, but over time my daughter has progressed to the point of smaller and more pieces. And I love putting puzzles together, as well. Today, I took the kids to the hardware store and purchased the equivalent of a masonite board. It is not called that anymore, but it is the same thing. I had them cut it down to make two boards of different dimensions and carried it home on the roof rack of the car. It feels great to introduce the kids to this family tradition. The inaugural puzzle on the board is a new one of Venice that I got to remember my wife and my visit there during our honeymoon.

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