Sunday 31 August 2014

"There's nothing safe about Pollutonium. It's everything toxic in the world concentrated into a single substance"

Remember that villainous bad guy Adam Acid from the LEGO Ultra Agents Riverside Raid? Not the nicest of chaps but we managed to defeat him and save the day (and the president). It was another victory for the Gifts from the Pirates boys... 

What happened after that day sent the boys in to an almost emotional meltdown. Adam acid escaped from their custody and instantly turned on the attractive one in the family while we were not looking. Mrs M was helpless and using some sort of toxic mind control the villain sent her in to a trance...

Episode 2:

Since the transformation in to this villainous vixen the citizens of Astor City have not been safe. She has been on a rampage dumping toxic waste and sludge at every chance. While i went hunting for my toxic green wife to be, the boys enlisted the help of our friend Chris to build the lab, cure mommy of her problem and find a permanent way of safely disposing of the sludge.

With 465 pieces to work out and put in their correct place, and with Toxikita destroying the city the boys were racing against the clock. Half way through the build tragedy stuck, it was time for us to leave Chris' but our lab wasn't complete, would Toxikita ruin everything if we didn't deal with the situation right away?

 Image taken from the LEGO Ultra agents iPad app...

Mommy Toxikita saw her chance to start building herself a toxic helicopter to spread more dangerous rubbish over Astor City (this was so out of character for Mrs M she's usually more like the Lorax). Despite there being some interesting pieces and although it was an intricate build It wasn't long before she and her toxic henchman had built their ship ready to unleash all manner of horrors over the city (and in pretty amazing matching colours too, it's like I always say it's all about accessorising).

Back at home the boys began work again on the lab and there really was no time to spare. Toxikita was out of control and needed to be stopped, was this the end of Astor city? (Of course not I know you are all hoping for episode 3.)

With the lab finally complete the boys put on their ultra agents fancy suits and helped Agent Curtis Bolt To rescue mommy (hang on! what happened to me? Wasn't I at the start? Clearly I'm just the narrator these days).

After a dangerous and heated chase through the city the boys and Agent Curtis Bolt Had Toxikita and her henchman cornered. The stand off didn't take too long though when Agent Bolt Pulled out an interesting bit of secret agent kit designed by the lab geeks and stunned the two menaces.

They managed to get the two trouble makers back to the lab and prepped for toxic removal. 5 minutes later and a virtually painless procedure and Mrs M was back to her old self. It was only fair to sort the henchman out too.... "Dad!" (Well me and Mrs M do like to do everything together).

It was a very stressful few days in the lab but the nerds came up with a way to store all the toxic waste safely and made it possible to use it to power Astor City, which was starting to get back to normal after the near toxic disaster.

Despite Mrs M being under the control of Adam acid the courts still held her accountable for the cities damage, it was a desevestating blow for the Gifts from the Pirates boys. 

Luckily she escaped serious jail time as long as she aggreed to attended her bad guys anonymous meeting once a week until her rehabilitation was complete

The End... 

*As always LEGO have made another fantastic kit and the LEGO Ultra Agents range have a great selection of kits with new characters, parts and a gripping story to go with the characters of Astor City. There is no end to the fun you can have with LEGO, all you need to go with any of their kits is a little creativity. Stay tuned for the next epic adventure and see who the boys battle next. If you cant wait that long the boys have just informed me its going to be the Nedbot 3000... Terrifying!!

Until next time happy building LEGO addicts.

"So he kept eating books... And he kept getting smarter... ...and smarter ...and smarter. He went from eating books whole to eating them three or four at a time."

Going to the Library has been great for ploughing through books with the boys at no cost. I'm annoyed at myself for not taking advantage of it sooner as we've brought hundreds of books for Opeie (and Seth) over the years...

 ...many of them once finished with, finding their way to charity shops or have been read so much that they have fallen apart and we've used them for craft activities. 

Our visits to the library have also introduced us to one of Opeie's new favourite authors and Mine and Mrs Ms favourite children's illustrators. I'm surprised with all the books we've read to Opeie Oliver Jeffers hadn't popped up sooner. As soon as we had read 'this moose belongs to me' we were all hooked and as soon as we had returned the few of his books we had borrowed from the library I went on a mission to get our own copies of these beautifully written and illustrated books.

With Mrs M being a huge Dick Bruna fan and me being a Dr Seuss addict it's actually nice for us to get into a childrens author a little more recent. We haven't gone a bed time for weeks without having at least one of his stories read before the boys go to sleep and it's great that Seth has got really in to them too and has even been reading them to his little brother.

We're always on the lookout for new books and Authors so if there's anyone you can recommend send your recommendations our way. Our new love of Oliver Jeffers has started yet another page in Opeie's reading diary and it seems there is no stopping Opeie's love of books.

Thursday 28 August 2014

"Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out."

Last week we had arranged a trip to Build-a-Bear Workshop to see their new Teenage mutant Ninja Turtles range and build one to take home. The day before we had arranged to go, Seth came down with Tonsilitis and was really unwell. By the morning he really wasn't up to going anywhere and just wanted to stay in the warm cuddling mommy (I can definitely see the appeal).

Opeie was really excited about going so we decided to go ahead. Opeie kept assuring Seth that "we will make a special bear for you to make you feel better". Our boys are so cute, they are really concerned when the other is ill and do all they can to cheer each other up.

When we arrived at Build-a-Bear Workshop we were greeted by Karen, what I love about visiting our local store is that the staff are always so approachable and they make it about the children as soon as you walk in which I think is really important. We also saw a familiar face, Laura the lady that helped the boys with their valentines bears for nanny and auntie Lotty.

We were there to make ninja turtles which I thought was really fitting considering the boys were going through a bit of a ninja turtle phase recently, but also because it was something that took me back to getting ready for school in the mornings, eating my breakfast watching the TV show (back when they were heroes not ninjas).

With the TMNT movie just around the corner these are great for younger fans. I was expecting them to be costumes for the bears like the Spider-man and hulk costumes that we have already but the bears are actually turtles which I think is great and Opeie was really excited about it too. Laura asked Opeie if he knew which turtle he wanted and he said Raphael please and Michelangelo for Seth...

I was hoping there was going to be pre-recorded turtles voices to choose from but they had the TMNT theme tune instead which Opeie chose and had put in the bears hands ready for action. Then it was time for the stuffer which Opeie loves as he gets to stand on The peddle an make his new toy cuddly and plump.

With both turtles stuffed and almost ready for cuddling Opeie picked a heart for each and Laura told him to rub the hearts on his head so that the turtles would be intelligent and rub them on his muscles so that they would be strong and to give them a big kiss before going in. Seth's got extra kisses and Opeie said "get well soon Seth" adorable!

Once the bears were all sewn up and had their tracking slips inside (which I think is a great idea), we moved on to Opeie's favourite part of the visit, the fluffer. A lot of care went in to brushing those turtles and he made them extra soft and fluffy...

With the turtles stuffed, fluffed and ready for an afternoon of squeezes it was time to accessorise, they are Ninjas after all. Opeie knew exactly which weapons belong to which turtle so he knew what he was going for. Weapons in hand we made our way to the Dressing Room...

Raphael and Michelangelo looked great and Opeie was loving giving them a squeeze. They didn't belong to us just yet though. As with any adoption we had to fill in the relevant paperwork to make sure everything was legit. The last thing we would want is someone stopping  our turtle in the street saying 'Rodriguez you've come back to me' (I'm not crazy, Mrs M will get that).

Then it was time to pick up our birth certificates up before taking our bears to their new home. While at the till Karen told us all about how they have changed the parties and how they include free snacks for the children, which i think is a really nice touch to add to the experience. She also told us how build a bear are trying to lower their carbon footprint by beginning to phase out the cardboard boxes in return for reusable drawstring bags which Opeie loved as he got to carry his new friend on his back

As always a really enjoyable hour at Build-a-Bear Workshop, looked after by great staff. Everything we would expect from a store who's main aim is to make children happy.

Wednesday 27 August 2014

"Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war."

I wont lie, we love a good scrap! we're proper boys and that's what boys do, roll about wrestling, make up crazy martial arts and diving off things we are probably not supposed to (says mom). I tend to double up as Stay at home Dad/Climbing frame and i'm expected to crawl around with those two special items of cargo comfortably on my back, in between the usual play beating that i get which usually ends when one of them stomps on a spot they shouldn't ouch.

Obviously i'm not complaining though, the boys are the greatest thing to happen to me, along with Mrs M they are my best friends. I love the fact that there is no need for me to grow up and i can live my days reliving my youth. A few months back we reviewed the Boomco twisted spinner and had lots of fun playing with our friends so when we were asked if we would be interested in trying out the new product, i couldn't wait to get in to battle mode with the boys.

On the day the package arrived i answered the door and thought 'what on earth is that, it's huge', i soon realised that inside that box was the game changer in our play battles. The Boomco rapid madness is an insane play thing and i was hooked from the second i fired the first round, a 20 shot clip that fires like a machine gun. Today i was selfish and fired the first round myself and Seth's eyes lit up when he saw what it was capable of. He then responded with 'i need to fire that while i'm sitting in a tree'... awwwww, our adorable little sniper.

The power in the blaster made it quite clear that we needed to be outdoors with plenty of space for action, It was time for battle and some of us take this sort of thing very seriously, oops!! The Rapid Madness really ups your game on the battle field as it is air powered and can blast out all 20 darts in the clip in literally seconds. If you are in to running about having a play battle with the kids then this bit of kit is really morish once you have fired once.

After running about for a while and spending some time looking for missing darts (because the range on the shots is up to 50 feet and Seth was firing shots all over) Seth finally got his chance to fire from the tree's when our battle came to a stand off. Thankfully our battle came to an end with the shaking of hands and a big hug, If only wars were ended the same way.

The Boomco rapid madness is a serious addition to your play armoury and i can see we are going to have a lot of fun playing with it over the coming weeks. Since playing with the Boomco blasters all the ones we owned from another well known company have been given away, i think that pretty much sums up the awesomeness of this product

Need more reassurance before you purchase? check this fun video out...

Boomco Rapid Madness Epic Battle

There is also the Zoom 'n' Boom event still going in Glasgow until the end of August, stay tuned for future events.