Wednesday, November 26, 2008

All I Want For Christmas...

We went to the mall two consecutive weekends ago to have our usual “family day out” and we stopped over at Toy Kingdom. I was trying to get some ideas on what I can get Janus for Christmas, since this is going to be his first, and they have such a massive selection of great toys that I went a bit mad. It’s just that there are loads of toys that I want to buy him, mainly so that I’ll have an excuse to play with them myself.

As we go around we thought of buying him a few toys. There were a lot to choose from, and I mean A LOT from Fisher-Price, Playskool, VTech, Chicco, Tomy, to those not-so expensive and known brands. As the salesladies and salesmen (otherwise known as “promodizers”) started to demonstrate the toys they also started to annoy us. They were talking crazy over at each other in front of us. So Vhic and I decided to leave them and look around more.

Here are some ride-ons that Janus tried:

How about a motorcycle?

OMG! He looks more interested with
this pink cab. Nice try Daddy…. Grrrr!!!

Having a hard time choosing, Janus?

I think he likes them all...

Ah finally! This is what we got for him.
Not too big, not too high. Just right for his size.

I’m still on the search of what Christmas present I’d give Janus. Right now I am just happy that this year he is my most special, early present that I got.

My Grumpy Santa

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Christmas 2008: Gift Suggestions For Boys

This Christmas, the most popular toys for boys follow a pattern. Young boys love toy figures and stuffed toys, but they also love electronic and video games and lifelike puppies.

Here are some gift suggestions for young boys this Christmas 2008:

Bandai Catcha Beast
Catcha Beast is a new kid’s electronic boy’s action game from Japan. Your kids can track and catch a number of virtual beasts. Catcha Beast utilizes advanced special technology to detect invisible imaginary beasts, enabling your kids to connect and do virtual battle against a mysterious world of creatures while at the same time your kids get healthy exercise. The Catcha Beast incorporates a special digital compass that tracks beasts as you hold the handset and move it around in the air. Spin your body until you find one, hook it, reel it in until it appears on the black and white screen, then let the battle commence. Available in Red or Blue.

Cars Walkin' Talkin' Lightning McQueen By Mattel
Among the toys, this Walkin' Talkin' Lightning McQueen captured the spirit and personality of a star. You can make him walk and talk, just like in the movie. It comes to life with light, voice and sound. Just program and set him down and watch him do his thing. Walkin' Talkin' Lightning McQueen goes one step further to bring you the fun, thrill and magic of this modern animated classic.

FurReal Biscuit, My Lovin' Pup
The lovable mutt features voice recognition and obeying six commands, including, “Sit”, “Speak”, and “Lie down”. Biscuit uses sensors to respond to your child's voice and touch. Biscuit wags his tail and barks, too, to let you know he’s ready to play, he even “shake” at your command, lifting his paw to your hand or sit up and beg, just like a real pup.It also goes with Plush pup, collar, tag, plastic brush, plastic bone, and adoption certificate.

Elmo Live Doll
The Elmo Live doll is very lifelike and he talks with a moving mouth, just like a real person. Elmo Live mimics the real muppet from Sesame Street. His head bobs back and forth and he waves his arms and is very animated as he tells jokes and stories. He even crosses his legs while interacting with your child.

Elmo Live does more than sit, stand and move he can sing and play games too. He’s a favorite in the neighborhood and a must-have friend for children. He laughs loud yet stands proud with every little accomplishment.

Transforming Wall-E Robot By Thinkway
WALL-E transforms from cube to fully poseable figure in seconds with press ‘n pop action. Free wheeling. It flips front panel down to reveal trash.

So for those who are having a hard time thinking of what to give Janus this Christmas, hope this list will make things a little easier for you. ;-)

Friday, November 21, 2008

How To Plan A Family Reunion

Family reunions are the most popular in all reunions especially during the Christmas holidays. We keep in touch with distant relatives in so many ways. However, even with all the contributions of technology, it's still nice to see them in person once in a while. In fact, there's simply no alternative for it. They allow us to connect on a real, personal level with people who share our bloodline, most we rarely get to see.

Getting organized is the key in planning a family reunion. Planning an event like this can be an enormous job. To that end, you should ask for volunteers to help you. Many very large families actually form committees of people to handle different aspects of the event, such as location of venue, food (potluck or catered), invitations, fund raising, program and entertainment, etc. If you can get help and delegate responsibilities, things will be a lot easier on you.

Next, ask everyone who is being invited for their preferences of date, time and location. Also find out if anyone has any special dietary requirements that will need to be taken into consideration in menu planning. Once you have an idea of what people want, you'll be able to plan a better reunion.

Then, decide on a theme. Themes bring family reunions together in a big way. Will your theme be heritage, tropical, character inspired, or something else? Your decorations and invitations will have the same theme, as well as your planned activities.

Entertainment is important. You need to keep everyone occupied and engaged with each other. Plan games and other exciting activities that guests of all ages can enjoy. Karaoke, board games, parlor games and other fun activities are all popular reunion events.

Menu is as important as entertainment. Some reunions are catered, while others are covered dish or potluck. You should definitely not try to do it all yourself, as this would be overwhelming. Delegation is the key. Just be sure to make the food suitable for the venue and pleasing for the largest number of people. If you have any vegetarians or other family members with special dietary requirements, be sure to include foods those people can eat.

Once you learn how to plan a family reunion, it gets easier to do in the future. After your first try, you will have the skills you need to create delightful reunions any time your family wants to get together. In effect, if your first reunion is a success, you will likely always be the one the others call on to plan more events.