Sunday, November 29, 2009


{picture by Dieter}
It's back to work Monday morning, and I'm reflecting back on the vacation. One of the things I was determined to do on this vacation was be an organized "stay at home" super-mama. But it's so hard to balance that--keeping the house picked up, moving through the day with a purpose--with what I really want to do which is sit around in jammies and play blocks with the boys all morning. Hmn. Still trying to work out the perfect balance on that. Here are some pictures from when we did sit around a play blocks and Dieter begged to use my camera. Here's what he came up with:
{corn kernels--by Dieter}

{Rainer placing a block--by Dieter}
And here are a couple that I took of the boys playing. I love that he's wearing his wings and playing with a pink-fringed fairy (made by me, back here).
And my photo of Rainer. What a sweetie.

I just finished ordering Christmas toys for the boys. It was hard to decide because they already have so much and don't need anything. On the other hand, I love for them to have new toys at Christmas--I have very fond memories of getting presents and a fat stocking on Christmas morning. We've tried to balance it by buying fewer things and requesting "no gifts" from relatives.

One idea Ken suggested was a simple boardgame. I chose a retro version of "Chutes and Ladders" because I hate the modern graphics they use on these games nowadays (same with Candyland--yuck!!). I'm pretty picky about what images I want the boys to see and have in their consciousness. The version I chose looks like it's from the 70's--not scary like the modern version. I'd love to hear though what your favorite board games are to play with the little ones? I love a family game night.


Celia said...

Woooow, Rainer!!!
Thanks God, look at all that hair!!!!
Sweet boy! He's is the sweetest!!!!
QUé alegría!!!!!!!!

Andrea said...

I vote for sitting around in jammies. Cute photos! I love the cooperative board games from Family Passtimes ( We have Max the Cat and Harvest Time, both of which my 4-y-o's love. I bought each kid another one for Christmas (having found out that a shared gift just doesn't work with preschool twins!)

Liv said...
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fiftyfourstitches said...

I was also coming to suggest Family Passtimes and Harvest Time... such a great game for young kids. I also like Mystery Garden by Ravensburger

Jennifer said...

Is that a mug in the first photo? I love it. We really like the card games by eeboo. They have some beautiful ones.

Lisa Renata said...

block, block, blocks. We love blocks around here. I just ordered Ri another set to add to the one he already owns.
I totally understand how hard it can get something when they already have what they need. I also found myself, searching and searching on line for the perfect mindful gifts that won't over stimulate. And well, I found some wonderful things, but mostly we ended just adding to what they already have and love (like the blocks). I think I might consider asking fam and friends for next year to also not send gifts. Though they are greatly appreciated it, really , it is just too much! I know it will be hard for some to understand, but maybe they just will.

btw- that orange tea kettle. I love it, I have the exact same one (well, with the exception of the spout cover- mine detaches completely).

glad to hear you had a nice TG>


Chris said...

I think finding that balance is the hardest thing. I find it difficult to reconcile the clean house and interesting meals with the time spent playing. Sometimes I read other blogs and wonder how those moms find time for all their crafts - perhaps they are simply more awake in the evenings? Your Rainer is looking great, and I am glad you had a nice vacation. And glad I read the comments, too, because I am definitely interested in the family pastime games - we have the usual boardgames, but the graphics on the newer versions are really less nice. We do have a Ravensberger Rivers, Roads, Rails game that we like to 'play' (in an open-ended, cooperative sort of way) by putting together - might be something for next year?

liz said...

Our favorite to play with our nieces and nephews is Enchanted Forest. Your boys are a little young for it, but it's lots of fun and has sweet graphics. Age 6+, I'd say. We also love matching games. A company called eeBoo makes gorgeous ones, and they are almost indestructible.

Dieter's got quite an eye for photography, I'd say. :)

Liz @ your form won't let me do name and url. :)

Sara said...

Games we love: Hiss and Rivers, Rails, and Roads

Mary Beth said...

Thanks so much to everyone for the great game suggestions. I will definitely come back to this post when it's time to buy another game.

Jennifer--yes, it's one of my very favorite coffee mugs. I love it, especially this time of year. It is so festive and bright.

Lain said...

I agree with you about the modern graphics!Ick!

We like to play Apples to Apples (the jr. version). It wouldn't be quite right for Rainer yet, but soon! My non-reading 5YO loves it. Uno is great, too.

Board games... hmmm... I steer away from all those plastic-y ones. I'll have to think!

Sarah said...

Yuck - I despise the newer Candy Land board as well. My mom has the old version, and I am always on the lookout for one for us at thrift stores. One of my kids' favorite games these days is Hi Ho Cherry-O.