As per my New Year's resolution, I am definitely spending less than I used to. We are not in much debt, but I like it when we are totally in the black. One thing I can justify easily is play supplies for the babes. We declined to enroll Pequita in gymnastics class for a few reasons. Mostly, she is too young to really get anything out of a 'class'. The two teenage girls who were leading the class set up an obstacle course of amazingly fun equipment, and then sat and watched while the parents led their children around the course. The cost for this was $11 for 45 minutes (or $0.24 per minute, I figured out). So we'll hold off on spending $90 for 8 weeks for Pequita to frolic once a week at the gymnastics studio like she does at the local indoor playground, which is $4 for 2 hours for the same amount of fun and sometimes I can hang back and knit, if Monito is sleeping.
Since I just saved us $90 (heh heh - see how I just did that?) I could justify buying these two things. The Yukon Express 100-piece train set. Definitely not worth the original $80 price tag (to me) but the sale price of $16 it is a steal. It isn't Brio, but it is all wood pieces, comes nicely organized so we could open all the track pieces and leave in neat little ziplock bags the choking hazards (a.k.a. trees, signs, houses, etc.) We set up a circular track big enough to fit on our coffee table, and Pequita set to work dismantling it, then wanting help putting it all back together. We'll add the other bits and pieces in time - you get all this in the set.
We also bought this lovely tent and tunnel set. I'd have been happier paying $20 instead of the $30 it cost me, but all in all I think it was a good purchase for our house. With the dining room table pushed to the side a bit it fits right next to it, and welcomes in the realization that yes, our house has officially become All About the Kids. Damn. I'll just have to leave my table saw and some volumes of Proust out by the front door so the first impression visitors get is one of intelligence and industry before they are assaulted with the barrage of large primary colored toys. Fairly crappy quality, but it should last for two kids. Might need some duct tape here and there after a bit of hard play, but Pequita was immediately enchanted and lost no time diving in. Below, she is looking at Monito who I plunked down at the other end of the tunnel. She started rolling balls through it and chasing after them. Again, good purchase.Yesterday at the local kid's consignment store, we scored a ball sorter which Pequita loves, and a baby doll that she wouldn't put down the whole time browsing. And check out the little $4 vest on her and Monito's new $3 orange snowflake sweater. Both are way too big for my kids, and should fit next year too, but they don't care about fit and they are too cute to pack away.
Yeah, I know this isn't the most scintillating post, but I've not had time to write, really, what with all the playing we've been doing.