Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Really sorry for the lag time!

Homeschoolblogger upgraded their stuff in the beginning of Dec. I have to say - I was absolutely fine with the strip down bare version (even though I'm considered a pc 'techie'). But the lag time was hideous just to log into the site. So posting had become a nightmare for me and I haven't even logged in here for several weeks. However today, it looks like all is well so perhaps they've worked out the kinks now. ;)

Well, we've been inundated with Cmas stuff, which I'm sure most of you have as well. We've been making a lot of homemade projects this year and I'd show you pictures but can you believe I FORGOT to take pictures before handing them out?? Arrrgh.

Pregnancy is going well (knock on wood) and not much to write home about there. Matthew is adjusting to having another sister very well though I think he still holds out a little hope that the tech was wrong. ;)

Jade has finally been working on saying words a lot more lately and I think it's finally sinking in that she gets things faster when she names them instead of pointing and grunting. Rose is...well...she's at that "I'm about to turn 4 and therefore, turn into a monster for a year" stage. You know, as a young parent, you're warned about the "terrible twos" and the "trying threes" but no one talks about four. That's because it's B-A-D. There's really nothing you can say to sugar coat it like the other ages. Somehow, "ferocious fours" just makes it 'cute' - and it's NOT. It's just a rough year.

I've been branching out and seeing what other homeschooling groups are in the area that we could fit into well. There are some really great ones that offer just what we're looking for but they're quite a drive and only really offer things for Matthew. I'm thinking of starting up a young homeschoolers group in our area. I'd like a co-op where the moms can offer one-two hour classes in a subject they enjoy and think the kids would enjoy. Nothing too structured, of course, but a way for the kids to be involved and meet other homeschoolers and make friends. So I'll be getting together soon with a friend of mine who is homeschooling to see what we can come up with.

Our Christmas was great! The kids seem very content and pleased with their toys and they have a little money to spend on whatever they're missing too.

Matthew's Christmas was all about Transformers. Oh sure, he got some books and craft materials and a Darth Vader helmet but what he really wanted was Optimus Prime. What a story - this summer, they repainted the toy (I think to match the movie coming out next July) and Matthew insists that "he's the wrong colors!" Thus began my search to find the older painted OP that "connected to Leobreaker" (also a requirement). None of the stores had any. The only place online I could find it was Ebay and collectors were bidding the prices pretty far up there (plus an extra $15 shipping charge would have made this his only Cmas present from us). I began to lose hope and started dropping lines like, "Matthew, they don't make him with the old colors anymore. I haven't seen any in any of the stores." He began helping me search online and at every store that sold Transformers. Nada. I so desperately wanted to get this toy for him because he's wanted it since last spring. It was his #1 wish. I'd almost given up and as Cmas got closer, Matthew began saying, "Mommy, if you can't find the one with the right colors, I would like the new one too." Poor guy was desperate. :( The Saturday after Thanksgiving, Hubby took the older two kids to work with him because they'd been begging since last Thanksgiving when he took Matthew. I decided Rose wouldn't last all day long (plus she was sick) so Jade and I did a little shopping then met them for lunch and brought the girls home for a nap. While Jade and I were shopping, I decided to stop at a Walmart that I rarely ever visit in another town along the way to Hubby's work. I've been to this particular Walmart maybe three times ever. I went back to the Transformers section, just because I was in the habit of looking. I held no hope. I scanned the packages and looked all the way to the end of each row. Nope, the one he wanted wasn't there. I think my last flicker of hope died at that moment. As I listened to the happy after-Thanksgiving shoppers all around me finding what they wanted, I just stood and stared at the section, wondering if another Transformer would suffice and yet knowing it wouldn't. After letting the reality set in that I wasn't going to find it, I turned to leave. When suddenly, my eyes drifted up the shelf. I don't know why - I never look way up top. But my eyes drifted. There were lots of extra stock Transformers in all the new packaging and then...what was that?? Was it?? COULD IT BE??? No, I dared not hope. I held my breath and tried to stay calm. I couldn't see it very well. The box was dust covered and a little banged up but it just *might* be the one. Quickly, before anyone else could possibly steal it from me, I ran like a lunatic for a sales person with a ladder. He was helping someone a few rows down and I asked him to come down when he was done. After a very long 5 minutes, he came with the ladder and pulled down the dusty box. "THIS one??" he asked. I looked at it. I couldn't believe my eyes. Old colors: check. But was it the one that connected to Leobreaker?? I scanned the back of the box but there was no mention of connecting to another Transformer. I still wasn't sure. I bought it anyway and kept the receipt, just in case I needed to return it. In the next aisle, there was a Darth Vader voice changer that he'd wanted since last Cmas - down to $10 from about $35. I grabbed that one. In the next aisle, there was a basket of return items that someone hadn't restocked yet. Searching through the basket, I found the Han Solo and Chewbacca Transformers that combine to make the Millenium Falcon. Target's ad that day said they had it for $15, down from $35. Would Walmart give me the Target price?? I took it up to the service desk and they gave it to me, no problem. I was giddy with excitement and barely made it through lunch with everyone before rushing home to see if THIS OP was THE one that connected to Leobreaker. I searched and searched online. Couldn't tell. I emailed Hasbro but got no response. Finally I stumbled across a blog that is purely all about Transformers (FYI parents, I'll warn you that it does contain some language). *This guy* knows his Transformers. I emailed him. He wrote back a wonderfully nice huge dissertation about how the toy was the same and just got repainted and that both the old one and the new one will connect to Leobreaker and even sent me a picture of the one my son wanted, according to his specifications. The picture was exactly what I had in my hot little hands. Bless this man's soul!!
Christmas morning, I was more excited than Matthew. Rose had been easy - she just wanted more stuffed cats and dogs. Easy peasy. Jade was too little to voice much but she seemed very happy with her new Weeble village ($15, down from $50 from SamsClub). I also found a used Gauntlet: Dark Legacy xbox game. Our version had gotten scratched from the kids playing around with it and was unplayable. He hadn't asked for a replacement but when he opened the package and saw what it was, he immediately started crying big alligator tears! "It's the game that I thought I'd never get to play again!" I held my breath as he opened Optimus Prime. But he was too excited to cry this time. He jumped around the living room like a crazy person. He whooped and hollered and screamed with delight. I've never seen him so happy. It was worth it...all the blood, sweat and tears of trying to find it...I'd do it all over again. He has been attached at the hip to OP the last two days and I suspect that will continue for quite a while. He is now trying to find Galvatron, Wing Saber and Megatron, who also attach to this OP, but all the stores are picked over of course so it might be a while before we can find them locally.

So that's my big Cmas ultimate toy story for this year. I hope your kids were equally as thrilled! :) Merry Christmas!

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