Tuesday, 27 December 2011

"Don't bite your friends"

I seem to spend so much of my day watching Yo Gabba Gabba with my 9 month old that i thought it was about time i wrote a post all about it. Take this morning for example, Ive been up with him since 4:30 and i think we have got through about 6 episodes so far while we've been playing. It was so difficult to find something colourful for backing noise that didn't involve characters making stupid noises like the Teletubbies.

I  think its a really great show for kids but there's bits in there for the adults too. Some of mine and mrs M's favorite bands have been on there, Jimmy Eat World, Weezer, Band of Horses, Taking Back sunday and many more. Plus some of my new music to listen to is because of bands ive heard on the show.

The Aquabats are featured a few times throughout the show with paintings of the band members on the wall in other sketches but there's no surprise there seeing as the lead singer is the co-creator of the show.

The most watched episode in the house is "New Friends" but this is because Mrs M has a huge crush on Jack Black so its put on for a bit of eye candy i think haha.

My little one always looks most interested when Biz Markie does his 'beat of the day' i think he likes the crazy noises. (haha he just came on the telly and my son stopped what he was doing to look), Apart from the bands ive been quite impressed by some of the quests that have been on there, i was quite shocked to see Tony Hawk Skating and Mos Def as Super Mr Superhero.

The toys are a bit of a pain to get hold of as there's not much choice of things that have been released in this country but luckily were off to florida in a few months so ill be taking full advantage for toys for the boys (and myself of course). Being a huge fan of lego in the house i think my first YGG purchases will be the Mega Bloks sets for when the little one is a tad older.

Any way i will leave you with this very important message "Don't bite your friends"!!!

Added 4/1/12

Today my afternoon was as usual taken up by Yo Gabba Gabba and this is how i entertained myself.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Spaß auf dem Weihnachtsmarkt ...... Birmingham Christmas Market 2011

Had the most amazing weekend with my family which i think we really needed and really made up for the disastrous previous weekends plans. This weekend was all about Christmas so Mrs M was very very excited. We had attempted to visit the Birmingham Christmas market last weekend but unfortunately literally 20 yards away from the market we had a very sick young man on our hands and had to turn around and make the journey home. 

This weekend however everything ran fairly smoothly apart from the inevitable wet nappy on  more than one occasion. We were also lucky enough to get a room at our favorite hotel due to a cancellation ( http://www.nitenitehotelbirmingham.co.uk/ ) which is a pod hotel, everything you need is in the space of 5ft by 7ft . It costs around £55 per night, but it ultra modern, slick and cool. It's highly recommended, the restaurant down stairs is really good value, and exceptional quality,everything is freshly made to order, and is so tasty! ( Especially the rocket and spinach feta pizza, or the New Yorker burger! ) Other than the NiteNite, there are plenty of hotels a couple of minutes away, ranging from budget, to pure luxury. 

The Birmingham Christmas market will always be important to us as it is where me and Mrs M spent a lot or our time when we first started courting (writing 'courting' sounded so much funnier in my head). It has something for everyone, from the shops selling really authentic Christmas goods, decorations and mittens etc, to the Garlic shapes garlic bread hut, and of course the alcoholic bars everywhere, selling everything from Blueberry wine, to lagers and ales. Which are reasonably priced ar £3 per pint or mug of wine. We tried the blueberry wine, which was delicious! 

Mrs M got extremely excited when we turned a corner and saw this parked up by the ICC!! She thought it was a Santa's grotto so we went to have a look,when we approached the rear and saw a bunch of truckers with pump trucks smoking, i made it quite clear that we wouldn't be taking my son on there to see Santa!

For me apart from the obvious spending time with the people I love, when it came to the market it was all about the toys, I love all the hand made wooden toys and also the vintage looking children's play thing's. The vintage toys are well made, and average price for something like a vintage robot. We bought a vintage robot and it cost £12 which is alot cheaper than the ones we'd seen in shops previously.

 I remember having a metal spinning top like these when i was a nipper, my favorite of the toys on these stalls will always be the retro looking robots....

Well it would have been rude not to buy one for the boys for Christmas as I said,  (although i think that after a week or so when the Christmas buzz has died down he will probably end up living on the shelf in the lounge hehe, or maybe it'll start a new collection off? )

We could have spent a small fortune but we really had to reign it in, as everything is so pretty, Christmassy and with the music, sight and smells, it doesn't feel like your in central Birmingham . As much as i loved all the Nut Cracker's we already have lots from the time we spent there dating, a small one costs around £3.50, and they go up to £80 for a 4ft one. It didn't stop us taking lots of great picture's though for you to peak at. 

It was most important that we got hold of some Birmingham Christmas market mugs. We had got some 2 years ago and loved them but unfortunately Mrs M was very ill last year when pregnant with out youngest so going to Birmingham wasn't an option. This year we were really excited about our boot shaped mugs, you pay £3 and they give you a token to hand back with you mug if you don't wish to keep it, and you then get your £3 back, but we always keep ours!

The trip wouldn't be complete unless we found an interesting Christmas decoration for the tree. we walked past Urban Outfitters and Mrs M shouted "there's a bauble with a mustache on it" (Mrs M likes a good mustache) . 

Also brought a potato gun for £3.50,  as before bed our eldest Seth  likes us to tell him stories about when we were little, I told him one a few weeks ago about me and my friends having spud guns and he got really excited.

So altogether a very fun weekend away 

Thursday, 8 December 2011

"I believe whatever doesn’t kill you, simply makes you…stranger"

I must have been a very good boy because last week Mrs M brought me the DC Encyclopedia, (i suppose i should write to Santa and cancel my order on that one),she's so good to me and is always getting me nice things. I'm only half way through reading the Marvel edition that she also brought me. I think ill find this one more interesting though as i know a lot less about DC characters, I was a Marvel boy when i was younger (was going to put when i was a child but i haven't grown up....yet).

It's lunch time at the moment and i have found i have a bit of spare time to write this as everyone in the house is asleep,Mrs M is shattered from feeding our youngest and our eldest has been very ill. So being the grown up that i am, i am writing about a super hero book ive been brought whilst watching batman the animated series (But at least i cleaned the whole house when i woke up this morning).

When i was younger i used to love watching the 'Plastic Man Comedy Adventure Show' but haven't been able to get hold of it for my son and the videos on youtube are awful quality because of their age. I did recently get hold of 'Plastic Man In Puddle Trouble' from 2006 which my son loves and he's in a fair few 'The Bold And The brave Episodes'. plastic man seems to be my sons flavour of the month at the moment,i'm sure once i introduce him to another new character then that will be his favourite.


Ive just started reading the Plastic Man comics again. Mrs M thinks its funny that i still read comics but it fills my evenings when everyone is asleep,Plus as stupid as it sounds i need the pictures,its been a long time since i read a book (apart from a couple of parenting books not to long ago) as it takes me ages to get into them but with comics or graphic novels i'm thrown into the action. Id be lost without my Comic Zeal app for my iPad http://www.comiczealapp.com/ .

Monday, 5 December 2011

One of the many other men in Mrs M's life

I'm used to competing with the other men in Mrs M's life for attention,but i don't mind that our boys come first, in fact i wouldn't have it any other way. There is though another man in her life that pops up pretty much every day. 

He is also the one person that she says she would be aloud to be unfaithful with as their secret liaisons would only include sitting around drinking tea and chatting. Or possibly going to The Zoo,The Gallery,The Seaside,On a Mountain or At the Hospital??? That man is Dick Bruna!

Although me and the boys live and breathe superheroes in our house,mommy brings out our softer side with Dick Bruna and his amazing books that are pretty much read most evenings before bed.

Me and my compulsive collecting has come in handy for Mrs M as i have found that i enjoy collecting even when its for someone else and i have found it quite entertaining tracking down some of these books as many of them are really difficult to get hold of, i bet you can now guess what my hand made advent calender for Mrs M was, from my previous post?!

I do really love the Miffy books but i much prefer his other books. Here are some of my favourite of his illustration's. The thing i love most is the simplicity of his characters yet some of his stories for children's books are very grown up. One that we don't really read to our boys is 'dear grandma bunny' a story in which Miffy's grandma dies, they have an open casket and then bury her in the woods. Pretty grim really but i guess a great book for helping children deal with bereavement. 

Well i dont think i have anything to worry about, I'm 99% sure that Mrs M wont be running off with an 87 year old man. Although he clearly has a much nicer mustache than mine so i think a weeks hard grooming is in order.

Till next time.....

Thursday, 1 December 2011

"You were expecting maybe Squirrel Girl?"

Im starting to feel like my Super Hero Squad collection will eventually spiral out of control, i brought a fair amount of these for our eldest when he was in hospital with pneumonia last year. i just happened to go into Smyths when they were on buy one get one free (bonus). He hasn't played with them as much as his chunky figures so i thought i would just start a collection for the little one.

I love this range of toys as there are so many characters to collect, its ashame they didn't make this many in the pre-school range. Ive had to buy a lot of them from the US though as i don't think that many of them were released in this country. It seems that even though their a fairly new range of toys some of them are being sold for crazy prices as the were released in waves. Some of them are really hard to get hold of.

The larger figures (Fin Fang Foom, Galactus, Giant Man, Sentinal and Hulk) were the hardest to get hold of so far, I'm still trying to find Apocalypse. There are so many of the figures that i want that when i finally have them all i will have spent a fortune (but we wont be telling Mrs M just how much).

I feel guilty sometimes that there's an abundance of cool toys hidden away that my son doesn't know about but Iv'e got to have some fun things to give the newby when he's old enough to be dragged into daddy's nerdy world. This week i had a package of toys delivered and Mrs M asked the usual question "which of the boys are those for?" to which i replied "Me!". I'd be lying if i said i didn't get as much pleasure out of playing with them as the boys. I'm a Big Kid!!

I had a lucky find when i was in T.K Maxx a few weeks ago, i was perusing the toy isle as i always do and i stumbled across Nick Fury and his Shield hover car to go with my collection, i'd not even seen this toy while mooching through eBay so i was chuffed. I don't think Mrs M was as impressed,she will probably have the same look on her face when she walks in the lounge and see's that im watching the 1994 animated Fantastic Four Series on my own! You wouldn't think i was 31.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

"He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree."

I would never had used a quote like that a few years back as i was never interested in Christmas, i wasnt the scrooge type ive always been happy to spend money on the people i care about, it just seemed that as the years went by i had less and less people to buy for. I'd never really put much stock into the idea of family. To quote my dad "there's no such thing as family,the word doesn't mean anything these days" and until i was blessed with Mrs M and the boys i pretty much felt the same.

Mrs M is a Christmas fanatic if she could, i think she would have the tree up all year round. Well now i have children im my life i love getting involved too. Christmas has started quite early for us this year because of our eldest starting school this year, we have had to make decorative jars, cakes and have made a hamper to donate for the school fate which has kept us all occupied. Its fun doing these things as a family. (although there was a prize for best jars and Mrs M got far to competitive).

The most exciting part of Christmas at the moment in our house seems to be the opening of the Advent calender (which will be tomorrow). The little man chose a Lego star wars calender so i can see why hes anxious to get into it.

For Mrs M i made an Advent Calender, she collects childrens books so i thought of something appropriate. Im hoping she is as excited as i am about her opening them.

I think that tomorrow we will be putting the decorations up so the atmosphere in the house will be amazing as they all get very excited about going through the baubles. (im sure there will be a whole post dedicated to our tree haha). 

Weve had our Nutcracker up for the last 2 months and im sure he will just stay up all next year now. (he's our little bit of Christmas all year round)

 Its extra special this year as its our youngest child's first Christmas. Im really looking forward to the holidays as i will be with my most important 3 people who mean everything to me.

Happy holidays all.....

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