Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday-the holidays

I figured I would share some photos that I took over the Holiday weekend as my Wordless Wednesday instead of posting it's own separate post. That way I will limit myself on the amount of photos I share since I took over 300 pictures this weekend.

Happy Hanukkah everyone
 Baby girl loved watching the candles on the menorah

 Two seconds after he woke up Christmas morning
 Baby girl woke up not long after her big brother did
 And little man slept for an hour & a half after the other two woke up. I couldn't bear to wake him up.
 Let the unwrapping begin

  I love love love his expression here
 And my favorite photo from the weekend. I asked them to get together so I could take a pic & it was as if some cosmic force came over them & they complied!

For more inspiring photos be sure to check out:

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Lego announces Lego Friends

Lego announced recently that on January 1, 2012 they will be releasing a new line called Lego Friends and it's geared specifically for girls. I don't know about you but I am excited about this. We have two boys and one girl and my boys LOVE anything and everything Lego. My daughter also enjoys Legos but more often then not, she feels a little left out when the boys are playing with their Legos building airplanes, warships and whatnot . She will occasionally build some things but it's a little hard to build something to her liking when the millions of pieces that we own are all from boy themed sets such as Star Wars, Hero Factory and Cars. I know they have the boxed sets that include Legos with all sorts of colors, and they even have a pink brick box geared for little girls that they can build a house, a car, a horse with.  In case you've never seen it it can be found here.

Today I came across an article on Circle of Moms: "Lego Friends Line for Girls Raises Controversy". And curious I searched and found a few more.  Jezebel wrote "Lego Targets Girls with pink blocks, cute figures, & no creativity". HLN wrote "Do girls really need pink Legos".

Honestly I do not get what all the hooplah is about. This whole should toys be separated by gender is a joke. Most toys out there today are in fact separated by gender. What are Barbies? A toy geared specifically for girls, or how about Disney Princess, My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake, the list goes on and on. And it also goes visa versa for toys geared specifically for boys. There's Tonka, Hot Wheels, Action Figures, Batman, Star Wars. It's been this way since I was a kid. We had most of the items I mentioned above and a few more such as She-ra and Rainbow Bright and boys had He-man and die-cast Transformers. You get the picture I am trying to paint?

The second article ruffled my feathers a little bit just in it's title. No creativity, really? I think they did pretty darn good in the making of these Legos. Not only were the characters created as smart but in the descriptions of each character they lists a few of their interest and for them to list what they want to be is awesome in my mind. I mean what little girl wouldn't want to play with a Lego such as the character Olivia who's bio states:

I love: My friends, science, school, drawing, inventing things, nature, hiking, photography, history. 
I want to be: A scientist or an engineer. 

Or how about Andrea. Her bio states:  
I love: Writing and composing my own songs.
I want to be: A musician/singer-songwriter.
No girls do not NEED pink Legos but there is nothing wrong with adding a little extra touch to a product to gear it towards a specific sex. It's called marketing and people in that field know how to do their job and in Legos case I think they are doing it extraordinarily well. Not only that but Legos in general are a great resource for growing kids. They can provide hours of entertainment, and not mind numbing entertainment that a TV provides but they get you to use your brain. Figure out what piece goes where, you can build by separating by color, by size, they can be used to teach math, they teach them how to think three dimensionally, helps with fine motor development, learning patterns, do I need to go on? 

I for one will be purchasing a set or two, possibly even three for my little girl not only for the learning benefits but simply because I am all for toys with positive message behind them.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Finding your Holiday Traditions

Over the last month or so I have heard the question "what holiday traditions do you have" over and over. And my response was always the same. We don't have any. Kind of sad huh. Yeah I thought so to. But then I realized (about five seconds ago) we actually do have traditions. They aren't anything big but still it's something we always did when we would go to my parents house and there's no reason for me not to continue them with my little family.

For Hanukkah we would go to my parents. Occasionally it would be at my Aunt and Uncles but 9 times out of 10 it would be hosted by my Mom.  It was the same food every year and while some might complain I think it's perfect that way. The first course consists of gefilte fish served on a plate with a piece of lettuce, two or three cherry tomatoes and a nice healthy scoop of chopped liver and matzo ball soup. My favorite way to eat my gefilte fish is smothered in horseradish sauce and then I would take a piece of matzo and smother that with chopped liver and some more horseradish sauce. Can you tell I like horseradish sauce? Oh yeah and only the red kind. Then we would have our second course, aka the main course. Brisket, kugel (either potato or noodle), latkes (another one of my favorites) served with either apple sauce or sour cream, and a vegetable. The last few years I had been in charge of the vegetable and I would make my famous green beans.

Food wise I didn't do anything this year. I've been a little bit homesick (shhh don't tell my husband or my mom) and Brisket is insanely expensive out here, like 40 bucks for a cut of meat, I don't even spend that much on a pair of pants! And it was the kids last week of school so while we have been doing the candles every night I just didn't make a big dinner.

For Christmas the kids would wake up and we would all pile in the car and head over to my parents house in our pj's. It would immediately be gift time because it's just cruel to make your kids sit and wait while there is a room filled with gifts that they are literally drooling over. After gifts my mom and I would make breakfast. It would always consist of eggs of some kind. We usually rotated between matzo and eggs or eggs smothered in cheese and salsa. And the best part was the cinnamon rolls. Nothing special because this was all about having a relaxing day so we would just make Pillsbury cinnamon rolls. There would also be bacon, sausage and those little square hash browns. I don't know why but those things are always so dang good.

When I went grocery shopping and automatically went for the rolls, sausage and bacon it didn't even occur to me that this is a tradition. I was second nature to pick all of these things up. And the same goes for our Christmas dinner. I picked up a ham, potatoes, a ton of green beans, crescent rolls and mustard. That's just about the same thing my mom would prepare, right now to the mustard which will be mixed with brown sugar for us me to dip my ham in.

So even though this year we wont be spending the Holidays with my family we will be staying in our pj's all day, grubbing on some good food (even thinking of making some latkes along with mashed potatoes tomorrow), taking a lot of photos, spending all day putting together toys, getting frustrated at all those little ties and screws in said toys and I am sure laughing at each other. If that isn't some form of tradition then I don't know what it is.

Happy Holidays to everyone, I hope your holiday season is blessed with love, laughter & light.