Monday, 29 October 2012

Hot Wheels Wall Tracks Starter Set - A Review

"Hot Wheels Wall Tracks Starter Set"

Phew! What a mouthful. My favourite tongue twister of late. Also, my kids' favourite pastime, for now.

When I was offered a toy to review recently, I went "Yay, Yahoo, Yippee!" like a kid being offered a ... new toy, and ice cream. I think any sane mother would want new toys for their kids, especially if it means a few extra minutes of mommytime. And of course especially when it's a reputed toy brand like Hot Wheels!


I was as excited as my kids when I got the package. But, when I opened it the next day, I went into panic mode. All the parts of the toy just spilled out into a pile of....um....toy parts. You see, I don't assemble toys. It's usually carried out by the hubby department. But he had an important appointment that day and I had 2 very eager kids waiting to play with their new toy. I was therefore appointed The Reluctant Assembler.

Wouldn't you go into panic mode looking at this?!



"Okay, everyone move back!! Nobody touches anything! I don't want anything to go missing!!"

Yup, that was The Reluctant Assembler in panic mode.

I took a few deep breaths, reminded myself to READ THE INSTRUCTIONS and calmed down.

Little did I know I was in for a pleasant time assembling this toy. Everything came together in less than 20 minutes. The instructions were simple, well illustrated and easy to follow. The first thing you're required to do is stick the instruction sheet on the wall. Yes, just do it! It will show you exactly where to place all those yellow brackets. I am really impressed with the instruction sheet. It was SO EASY to put this thing together!! I still can't get over how easy it was.

I, Me, Moi
assembled this!
Well, my kids did help me some. I would have liked to do it all by myself but we must learn to share ;)



You can even vary the placement of the tracks and have your kids try out different car stunts. I let my son, who is 5, try shifting the parts around. He had a lot of fun getting creative with it and it was easy for him to take the parts out and put them back. He even fixed in his old car tracks...



As you can see, this is a wall mounted toy. Yes, toy manufacturers are conquering the walls now. If you've stepped on a lego piece or a wooden block before, you'd want a toy that goes on a wall. One concern I had was what it would do to my wall. Well I was pleased to see that they use 3M adhesives that will not damage walls.




A mother must have thought of this.

Personally, I like this toy. I would get it as a gift for a kid who likes cars and tracks. And I think it's real cool to have the tracks wall mounted like that.

Here's a look at how it works...



For more info about Hotwheels, check out their website.

Disclosure: I was given a complimentary set to play with and write this review. All opinions are 100% mine.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

I Want My Son To Give My Eulogy

Today, after our dinner of homemade pizza, I made the kids a nice fruit punch to wash it all down. It came as such a pleasant surprise to my son that he said..

"Mommy, thank you so much, I'll love you forever..."

He'll love me forever over a fruit punch?! Well, of course I'd have to clarify,

"You'd love me forever over this?"

Giving me a sheepish smile, he said "Well of course not over just this..." and thinking very hard continued to say "I'd love you forever...

for everything that you've done
for taking care of me
for reading to me
for helping me read
and most of all
for loving me."

I choked up after hearing all that and in response to his eloquent declaration of love for me, I said

"Awww...I feel like crying now", and shed a tear...or two.

"I know, some people cry when they are too happy"

Yes, my son, I was more than "too happy". I would have stood up and did the Riverdance if I knew how to.

Then I ran to my desk and quickly wrote down what he just said. Can't rely on my mommy brain these days. Seriously, the other day, while talking to a friend, I was trying to recall the name of a car that was "Alphard" but kept thinking "Narnia". I don't know what's up with my brain cells recently.

Where was I?

Ah yes, then all of a sudden I grew wings and became angel mom for the rest of the evening when usually, by sundown I would morph into a cross between a mother of two on the verge of psychosis and a military sergeant from hell.

Thank you my baby boy, you sure made my evening and certainly the rest of my life.



Sunday, 30 September 2012

Bedtime On A School Night

Suggesting an early bedtime for your children can result in tears and tantrums. However, your children need a full night of restful sleep to perform well in school each day. You and your family must establish a routine and make bedtime comfortable to help your children get a good night of sleep. Keep a few things in mind when looking for a bedtime routine for your family:

Quiet Activities
If you let your children run wild in the hour before bedtime, they will be too worked up to go to bed. Your children will need some time to cool off before they even feel tired. Inspire your children to spend the hour before bedtime engaging in quiet activities, including reading, painting and playing with some favorite toys. Discourage your children from participating in activities that can lead to hyperactivity, including watching television.

Room Atmosphere
Encouraging a night of good sleep requires some work on your part. First, you need to get your child a good and relaxing bed. Some stores offer beds for children that may look cute in a bedroom, but aren't very comfortable. Don't sacrifice quality when you buy beds for the kids. The best bed is comfortable and sized to fit your child.

You should aim to keep the bedroom at a cozy temperature throughout the night. During the summer, use an air conditioner or open a window to cool down the room. You can take advantage of dark shades to help your child's bedroom feel darker when the sun is still up in during a summer evening. In the winter, turn up the furnace a few degrees so your child will feel warm all night.

Routine
Maintaining a nightly bedtime routine helps establish guidelines and prepare your child for sleep. Many bedtime routines start with a refreshing bath to help relax your child. After the bath, you can give your child a small snack, such as cereal, with a glass of their favorite drink. When snack time is over, send your child to the bathroom to brush her teeth and finish getting ready for bed. If your child enjoys reading, read a book together. If you do read a book to your child, remember to set limits on the number of books you plan to read.

Getting your children to bed on time does not have to end in frustration for either you or your children. If you strive to help your children get enough sleep, you'll help them to feel rested and ready for school each morning.

This is a guestpost by Alex Summers.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Yahoo!

I'm doing a little jig in my mind now as I write this because my son just told me something I've waited a long time to hear (5.5 years to be exact).

"Mommy, you don't have to wash my bum bum anymore. I can do it myself."

Ahhh...sweetness to my ears...

Yahoo!

One bum down, one more to go.


The Cake To Make When You Can't Bake

I've always been inspired to make my kids' birthday cakes. Here's a collection of them so far...

Jaundiced Dog for No.1's 2nd Birthday.



Cupcakes for No.2's 1st birthday.



A carrot cake for No.2's 1st birthday


More cupcakes, this time for No.1's 4th birthday



Dessert for No.1's 5th birthday.


No.2 just celebrated her birthday and I was inspired, yet again, to make her a birthday cake. I wanted to make something easy, as usual. Something that will taste and look good, naturally. And something that will not require any baking, if possible. You see, I don't have an oven. I have something that calls itself an oven but bakes only the sides of a cake. That's why I keep baking to a minimal. So you cannot imagine how delighted I was when I found this recipe.

And here's what No.2 got for her 3rd birthday...


If, for whatever reason, you can't bake, THIS is the cake to make!

Be prepared for a mess when you cut into it though. I will definitely make this again. Heck, if I could, I'd make this cake for all the birthdays to come!





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