Monday 30 July 2012

"Well, one day a mommy spider and a daddy spider fell very much in love..."

To quote Mrs M "what have you created?". It seems that our little cutie has become Spider-man obsessed and it makes me very proud. It was about 2 weeks after we got back from Florida that the obsession began which is a shame as while we were there we met spider-man and Opeie wasn't very impressed. If it had just been a couple of weeks later he would have been a very excited boy. We've started looking at holidays to the US again so I'm sure he will meet his hero very soon.

As you can probably imagine from reading the blog there is quite a bit of Spider-man merchendise in the house but a large percentage of that are things that Opeie has seen while we have been out and about and has decided it is a must have item. We cant seem to go to boots without coming back with a Spider-man toothbrush (which to be fair i don't really mind, because of this Opeie loves having his teeth brushed which i believe is quite unheard of in a 17 month old).

It was Mrs M's idea to write a post about all the Spider-man stuff and one day i came home and they had found all the things they could that had Spider-Man on and it was all piled up in the lounge. I think Opeie was in Super hero heaven.

wherever we are Opeie will always spot a Spider-man item no matter how small or insignificant it is. One day at home he was desperately reaching up into the air and we couldnt work out what it was he was after. After getting practically everything down to see what it was i lifted him up and carried him over, turns out all he was after was a sticker that the Dentist had given to Seth on his last check up. 

Even as im writing this he is desperately trying to get at the computer because he can see the pictures of himself surrounded by spidey. Weve had to come home from Asda on more than one occasion with their gift cards because they've got the wall crawlers face on.

Action figures, shoes, cuddley toys, balls, books, bags, drinking flasks, Pez dispensers, Opeie doesnt care what it is he must have it. Mrs M's mom and dad came round a few weeks ago and had brought the boys a Spider-man rubber ring for the summer, Opeie proceeded to crawl about with it around his waist for most of the following week, at one point i walked into Seths room and he had the ring round his waist and was wearing Seths Spider-Man bike helmet (clearly he's going to be a bit of a fashion disaster like daddy was back in the day).

He's quite a snob when it comes to all the other comic characters too, a week or so ago i got out all the loose Super Hero Squad figures that i have been collecting him to play with, and what did he do.........?

.......he seperated the 4 Spider-Man figures from the rest of the group. Obviously the web head is far to good to be associating himself with that bunch of scum bags.

He loves the chunky figures but I'm starting to think i might start a collection of all the more grown up Spider-Man figures for him for when he is older as there are probably hundreds of variations. I really love that he is so into something that I'm into already and in return he has got me into Yo Gabba Gabba.

Most days he's got a different Spider-Man T-shirt on which i don't think Mrs M is to pleased about but that's what happens when i dress him, plus i like the thought of him looking like a mini me because he is in fact a mini me. Ill be writing a post about the boys T-shirts soon, i thought about it 2 weeks ago when i saw them all hanging on the washing line. (Thanks again Chris [] for the great pic's).

I'm so proud of the way he is turning out and not just the obsessing of super hero's although it is a bonus. We have 2 very beautiful little gentlemen and everyone that meets them adores them. What more could you ask for? They are both very affectionate and always love lots of hugs and kisses and i wont lie me and Mrs M love dishing them out.

Spider-Man is always going to be one of the main topics of conversation in the house, at least until the boys are teenagers anyway then god knows which way they will go. I may end up being Seth and Opeies weird comic book loving dad.

Either way I'll always be Opeie and Seth's caring Dad who is happy to dedicate all his time to them and their beautiful mommy.

"Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid."

Seth has got the blogging bug and has been asking to write another one for a while but we usually write them before bed and most nights he's to tired. There's no shortage of things in his room to write about and were always doing fun things. Today's post is about his Star Wars weaponry and accessories. I'm glad he wanted to write about them because i wanted to put the pictures up but didn't really know what to say. He has a lot more to say about Star Wars than i ever will. Any way take it away Seth:

"i got my new blaster a few weeks ago, mommy bought it for me because she got a new job and was excited. I love my blaster because i love star wars and now i can have a battle because Ive also got a Boba Fett blaster which i got from Florida. My new blaster is for clone or storm troopers. i like the noise it makes and both of my blasters make a different sound. I wish i had a Boba Fett rocket pack and mask and a clone trooper mask and outfit. My favourite Star Wars character is Luke Skywalker i also like Anakin,clone robots,destroyer droids,Boba Fett and Jango Fett."

"Ive got 3 Lightsabers, 2 of them are purple they are Mace Windu's and one of them is Darth mauls its double ended and like in the film one of the ends gets chopped off so i when i am playing and want to pretend that bit i close one side.because their not real light sabers. I cant have a real light saber because i might chop my bedroom up and mommy wouldn't be very happy with that."

"William is my best friend from school he loves star wars and when he comes round for tea we have light saber battles and sometimes we have battles with my star wars figures too. Ive been to Williams house and when i was there i dressed up as a clone trooper. William has got a Lightsaber but said he has lost his green one. I want William to see my new blaster and when he comes to mine next we will have a blaster battle."

"Ive got a darth vader mask and it makes noises and when you talk into it it makes you sound like darth vader. I like dressing up like Darth Vader. I wish pauly had a chewbacca costume and crossbow but pauly doesnt like star wars, i pretend not to like marvel anymore to make pauly have a sad face but really i like marvel." someyimes i just wear the hood bit of my costume so i can pretend to be the emperor or darth maul."

(i love this photo because it is very very very very very very good i like looking like Darth Vader)

Friday 27 July 2012

"Expect nothing. Live frugally on surprise."

Its always nice to hear the postman knocking on the front door, usually because its a new toy being delivered or just generally something fun that we have purchased online. Its so much more exciting when an intriguing package arrives. This week our friends Chris ( and Michelle sent us photo's that had been taken at my recent BIRTHDAY SOIREE, but also in the package was a CD that we had been talking about on that very day.

The CD mentioned is Snack Time by BareNaked Ladies and its a treat of an album, Chris informs me that the band members all had children and wanted to make a collection of songs to entertain them. If you are a little bit of a child yourself and have never truly grown up then I'm sure you will find this album as amazing as i did (how could you not with songs about ninja's, allergies, raisins and not liking Salmon). I was drawn in at first by the lyrics "Ribbit, ribbit, a tadpole exhibit, It's a transformation no one can inhibit" genius! 

Every time you listen to this album you hear something new that makes you laugh. The crazy ABC'S song points out that P is for pneumonia, pterodactyl and psychosis, which I'm sure will confuse Seth when he hears it but as Chris said would totally blow his teachers away if he came out with it at school.

So far the CD hasnt left the player (apart from a couple of times when ive had to put Opeie's sleep CD on to get him off to sleep). Its certainly kept me entertained this week and im sure it will continue to do the same in the coming weeks.
                                                           Thanks Chris and Michelle. x

"There will always be someone to take your place, but no one can every replace you."

Ive been feeling pretty guilty since last weekend, Me and Opeie went to see grandad and while we were there we decided to go and take my dad's dog Kizzy down the park. I went and got Opeie's pushchair out of the car and gave him Hulk Bear to hold. It was a lovely sunny hot day and we were out for quite a while pottering about. It wasnt until about 2 hours later that i realised that Opeie was no longer holding his bear.

I was really upset because we had made that bear together and i had recorded my voice for Opeie for when he squeezed it. Well yesterday we took a trip to Build a bear after dropping Mrs M at work and got a replacement which to be fair kind of made me feel a bit more guilty trying to pass this newcomer off as Grrrrrrrrr (the bear we had given life to originally). 

When i was driving home i started to think how bad i felt that while i was in there they asked me if i wanted to make the birth certificate, I explained what had happened at the weekend and i said no we have one from the last bear. So now i am harbouring a super hero bear with fake documentation, i really hope no one passes this information on to the authorities.

Anyway despite all this the new Grrrrrrrrr has settled in well and has been squeezed and thrown about by Opeie so he is now one of the Super team but it doesn't stop me thinking 'what is Grrrrrrrrr Mach 1 doing right now?' I hope he's being looked after.

Thursday 26 July 2012

"You remain a poor choice, little brother."

I didn't think i would ever let a collection get the better of me but it seems that one of them is really starting to get on my nerves. Ive been collecting the Marvel Famous Covers series of figures for a while now but like all things Marvel they are a nightmare to get hold of in this country. I could really do with a trip to the US once a year to buy all the toys i want. Ill be so much more prepared next time we go (with extra baggage booked).

It all started when i spotted the Red Skull figure on eBay and ended up winning it for 99p (stupid me thought i might be that lucky with all of them but some of them seem to be really sought after), when it arrived i was really impressed and knew i wanted to get hold of all of the others, thinking how good they would look all displayed together. I love the old Mego figures but unfortunately i don't have that sort of money to spend on doll's so this was the next best thing, there's also a great selection of characters to collect (now I'm thinking maybe that's not such a good thing).

Ive never minded paying the postage from the US,without it i would never have most of the toys i own, but for some reason the postage price on these when buying on eBay is really over the top. I saw one a few days back that had £60 postage on it? So unfortunately the collection is going to take a long time to complete. I decided a couple of weeks back to just sell them on and throw in the towel, but then The Vision appeared on eBay and it got my collection juices flowing again.

Opeie loves playing with the Spider-man (suprise suprise), and Seth calls them my "antiques" as he says they look old fashioned. Ive decided to soldier on and be patient in hope that more of these will show up. They are great looking toys and will definitely be worth the wait when i do finally get round to owning them all. Unfortunately Mrs M thinks they look creepy so i have no idea where ill be displaying them, hopefully they wont stay in the boxes.

When it comes to collecting i have no patience but it seems i don't have a choice with these, their definitely worth the wait though and i have a feeling the may end up being worth a fair bit once completed.


Monday 23 July 2012

"I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver."

This is just a very quick post for anyone out there that wants to donate to a very worthy cause. Mrs M has been working so hard to raise money for our local children's hospital. Making sure that children are looked after properly is something close to our hearts. Having a disabled child ourselves we know that sometimes things can be difficult for them and at Birmingham Childrens Hospital they need all the help they can get. If this is something that is important to you then please donate generously and if not then please £1 could still make all the difference.

A lot of people were out on Saturday at the Birmingham Zombie Walk doing everything they can to make sure there is a good sum of money going to all those poorly children. so please go to the link at the bottom of this post and it will take you to the donation page. Any amount will be appreciated. I also want to keep this beautiful smile on Mrs M's face. Myself,Opeie and Seth are very proud of her and everything her and everyone else has achieved so far!!!

Please click below to donate.

Thank you!

Sunday 22 July 2012

“Me going off me rocker—please give me Betty Crocker”

Opeie has always loved Sesame street, it seems on a daily basis though that we watch the same videos over and over. I sometimes cant tell whether its Opeie or Mrs M that likes them more with all the dance moves that i am lucky enough to be entertained by (she's certainly got some moves). This weeks most popular video in the house is the spoof of Carly Rae Jepsen's song sang by cookie monster called 'share it maybe'.

We have literally just had this song on about 10 times and Mrs M has laughed at the same part every single time. I thought i'd write the post so that when Opeie is a bit older he can see what it was that used to put a smile on his face (i only wish i could get a sneaky video of Mrs M dancing to it so you can see what i have to deal with on a day to day basis).

Some of the songs i dont mind, its usually the playing of them over and over again that gets annoying,but if they make Opeie happy then that's a good thing. I don't really remember any of the things i used to like when i was really young. I wish my parents had kept some sort of diary of all the little things, it would have been an interesting read and something great to compare what the boys like to.

There was a time when the only way we could get Opeie to calm down in the car was to play him . . . 

Although i prefer Yo Gabba Gabba i do think Sesame Street is a great show too and I'm really thankful that I'm not subjected to episode after episode of In the night garden or Teletubbies. Well I'm always interested to see whats going to be next to excite our little boy. but in the mean time I'm happy to watch him (and Mrs M) dance around the lounge like crazy.

I'll end the post with some amazing lyrics from cookie himself

"Me trade me soul for a bite
Me spell it out black and white
Me look at you and me see
You like an elf in a tree"

I have no words to follow that! speechless!!!

"Still they cry out for him... for their hero and savior... but he is broken... and Gotham is mine!"

This week i helped my Dad move house which was a lot less stressful than i remember house moving to be. As i was leaving he gave me some birthday money for Opeie as i hadn't actually seen my dad for a few month's and we had been away in Florida on his birthday. My grandad added to the birthday kitty too which was clearly going to be burning a hole on my pocket until i ventured into Toys R Us to spend it.

Opeie has started playing with Seth's imaginext Batcave quite a lot, and when we went into Toys R Us they had a 3 for 2 offer on the Imaginext so i thought it would be rude not to take advantage.

Mrs M wasn't to happy about the fact that you press a button, lights flash on Bane and his skeleton appears on his torso making him look like he is being electrocuted (i guess it would be a bit much for a 17month old if he actually understood). But apart from that its a pretty cool little playset for 3-8 year old's apparently (or 32 year old geeks). Me and Opeie have had lots of fun with it especially because we already had the other baddies to go in the cells.

Opeie loves fiddling about with things and working out what the toys do etc, he looks so serious sometimes when he's concentrating.  The first thing he did this morning when i brought him in the lounge to let Mrs M sleep was go straight to the batman figures so i guess once i have finished writing this i will be joining him. 

Looks like i may end up unboxing one of the other things i bought yesterday to play with today even though i should probably start saving things for Christmas as it will sneak up on me as it does every year.

Opeie has just crawled over to me and has got really excited seeing a picture of himself on the computer, He loves looking at my blog page but he is going to love it a lot more when he gets older and him and Seth can read it together. I feel so lucky to have such an amazing family and would never take any of them for granted. Everything has fallen into place and i am exactly where i want to be, So i will be ending this a very happy boy.

Friday 13 July 2012

"We all have secrets: the ones we keep... and the ones that are kept from us. "

Going to the cinema has changed so much since i was a little boy, the first film i ever went to see was 'Gobots: Battle of the rocklords' when i was 6, it all seemed so magical and i was very excited at the thought of going to watch a film on a huge screen. This excitement was magnified by the added bonus of what seemed like a gallon of fizzy drink and a box of popcorn that at the start of the film you didnt think you would ever get to the bottom of. 

Today i went to see The Amazing Spider-man and although i was still very excited i sat watching the trailor's laughing to myself as i opened my self packed Tupperware box containing 2 slices of Malt loaf and a handful of digestives (yes i certainly know how to live life on the edge). I dont usually feel old but at that point sitting there on my own waiting for the film to start i was feeling like someone that once upon a time used to be cool but over the years is slowly becoming my dad. I used to see people sitting alone in the cinema when i was younger and it always intrigued me (who has NO-ONE to go to the cinema with?). Turns out sometimes you have no choice. The boys are to young and although Mrs M would have liked to see it, with a 16month old child, going together just wasnt possible.

The film was pretty good although i didn't leave the cinema on the super hero high that i did after watching The Avengers. The film was clearly a lot better written and filmed than the previous movies but the past movies were better in other ways. I definitely prefer Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker he was far more believable and didn't need to be flipping around on a skateboard to get the viewers attention.

Spider-man 1 and 2 were a lot more colourful and from a comic to movie point of view i really liked that. As pointed out by Russell Jones earlier it was all a bit like it was trying to be the Dark Knight. Needless to say it was very entertaining and had the added bonus of not having that annoying MJ moaning at every given chance. Although Mrs M wont like this (due to being a big MJ fan), Gwen Stacey was a lot more bearable and more pleasing to the eyes.

It's a shame that Seth couldn't have come to see the film with me but he's far to young to have understood what was going on. i cant wait until both the boys are a bit older so that we can go and see all the comic films together, it'll certainly beat sitting on my own. Ill be doing it all over again in the next week or so for 'The Dark Knight Rises'.

Also the excitement this morning about finally seeing the film got my toy juices flowing so i purchased 2 of the 3 Amazing Spider-man Super Hero Squad Figures set's which will be posted about when they arrive. 

A fun afternoon was had but the most 'Amazing' part for me was going back home to that little super hero of my own.

Updated 14/07/12

Opeie didnt even watch the film but clearly knows what happened....

Tuesday 10 July 2012

"The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain."

Its another grim day of bleak british weather, im quite sure summer is supposed to be starting any day soon. The worst thing about the grotty weather is not being able to go out and do much, its really frustrating. At least i managed to get some house work done. While tidying Seth's room earlier i started to think about what i used to do when i was younger and stuck in doors. On many occasion i would be found practising my Bulldog on my teddies swanning about my room doing my best impersonation of Davey boy smith.

On the rare occasion that i was allowed a friend over on these dreary days i would sometimes partake in a little one on one of the Top Trumps variety. Top Trumps always seemed like a good idea but chances are 10 minutes into a game you were pretty fed up of passing the cards back and forth.

Above are the cards i used to play with, and i wish i still owned them now as they go for a fair bit on eBay. Despite knowing that the games can take forever and they lose their appeal after 10 minutes i still think the cards are great so when we went to Florida earlier in the year i decided to get Seth into them with the hope that they might kill an hour or 2 on the long flight there.

They've come in quite handy for introducing new characters to him and will do with Opeie when he gets a little older and starts to understand why there is so much Super hero merchendise around the house. Seth actually really loves playing these but doesnt really have much of a poker face while playing. If its his turn and he calls out height and starts giggling you know he's got Galactus and if he call's out speed (with the same snigger) you can guarantee he's holding Quicksilver in his hand, its adorable.

 Playing Top Trumps is certainly a good way to keep Seth occupied and also to keep his mind off things especially if he is feeling ill etc. Three of the set's can me mixed too giving you the option of an Ultimate game (this has the disadvantage of making your game go on for hours usually ending in just giving up or having to finish because its bed time). This can be used in a clever way though to make children sleepy at bed time especially if you take your time reading your cards (not that I'm the sort of dad that uses tricks to get the kids to sleep though Hmmm....).

Saturday 7 July 2012

"I ain’t afraid of no ghost"

 After discussing my blog with Mrs M a few nights back she came up with a great idea, i have a few friends that are into comics, super heroes and toys and Mrs M thought it would be interesting to have guest post's written by them,. I'm always interested to hear how other people felt about their toys growing up as mine had such a huge impact on my life. The first person to be asked was Mrs M's cousin Russell, now Ive only met Russell once at a family wedding but we talk most days online, usually about spider-man, films or just general geekery. Russell is a poet and certainly has a way with words, He attatched his blog address to this piece which i didnt know he had so that will make for some interesting reading this evening. Any way i will leave you with this very well written and nostalgic piece, enjoy. . .

Cut the chocolate! Cut it!

It is the midst of Christmas 1992. The log fire is blazing, the adults are chatting lazily over glasses of cheap red wine and we – the child folk – are trying to saw cubes of chocolate from a thick slab of Cadbury’s with a butter-knife and fork whilst wearing oven mitts.  It is a difficult task and one I don’t relish, but it’s part of the festive games which, through peer pressure, is compulsory. Compulsory fun. The worst kind of fun. I drop out early, my eight year old hands are too weak to compete with the brute chocolate-breaking strength of the older kids, so I head to the toy cupboard.

Back in the 1990s The Ghostbusters were big. Despite the fact that we were all terrified of real ghosts every kid my age wanted to don the off-white jumpsuit and strap on a proton pack. My toy cupboard held the precious contraption: light years ahead of conventional science, a portable device able to emit charged beams through accelerating particles to such an extent that they created a collision which was able to hold and control negatively charged ectoplasmic entities. The Ghostbusters’ version was an expensive piece of getup designed by Dr Egon Spengler, mine had the appearance of a piece of oversized Tupperware with a plastic vacuum cleaner hose attached, and it made a pathetic whirr when you pulled the trigger. What a thing the child’s mind is, though, able to transform those cheap pieces of plastic into a machine of magnitude. I became bolder, revitalised, scouting out the house for potential poltergeists, checking dark corners for demons. I was a protector, a visionary, a hero. While the adults bored on about washing machines and overtime at work I was out hunting the damned, inventing the world as I wanted it. This is the power of toys.

Well I’m one of those adults now. I drink too much, I smoke, I moan continuously about the news, the weather, I berate inaccuracy, debate ferociously about things that probably don’t really matter. Adults aren’t meant to play with toys, they have to go to work, buy the shopping and clean the house and die. And that’s a problem.

Imagine a world where grownups played more, where businessmen didn’t go for a read of the papers over a mug of murky coffee but put on masks and capes, and pretended to be heroes in their own little pockets of fantasy; where nurses and teachers didn’t spend their morning  break rifling through papers, they thought up adventures for their super hero  dolls. Allowing the mind to imagine is one of the most vital things humans have evolved to do, it’s what has allowed great works of art, innovations in science and business. Playing with toys can relax you, it makes you a better thinker, a happier, smarter human being. I didn’t see a cheap plastic box and a vacuum cleaner hose when I was eight, I saw a new world. Without the ability to look outside of what already exists, without an imagination, we become stagnant, stuck sitting at parties talking lazily over cheap glasses of red wine, preoccupied by the dreary things in life. Toys help us to break loose, to throw out the shackles of ‘normality’, not just to think outside the box but to reinvent it. And so I implore us all to play more, to revel in the magnificence that is the human imagination. Go now! Grab some Tupperware, a vacuum cleaner hose and some duct tape! Get out into the streets and play! Join me brothers, sisters and reverberate our new mantra through the grey streets: “I ain’t afraid of no ghost!”

The piece pretty much backed up why i am the way that i am. I don't watch the news and i don't read the paper because honestly i would rather live in my own little fantasy world where me and the boys dress up like super heroes and spend days on end building Lego creations. There's far to much misery in the world and i will do my best to avoid as much of that as i can.

If you liked the piece (which I'm sure you did) and you want to read more of Russell's work you can find him here I'm not going to pretend that i know anything about poetry but i know when i like something and i would recommend How to kill a Blackbird. A beautifully written piece. 

Thanks Russell