Posts Tagged ‘Lego’

Fainjin’s personal Heaven

June 28, 2014

Today was the day that Fainjin has been waiting for, for months. Legoland Day.

We got a bus from Anaheim down to Carlsbad, a very comfortable & convenient way to travel with pick-up and drop-off to our hotel at each end of the day. On the longer trip home (due to traffic) the driver played a DVD to keep the kids (and adults) entertained.

Pearl & Babess dozed on the trip down this morning, still exhausted from the previous two days’ adventures. Fainjin sat next to me, quietly humming with anticipation.

We met Emmett & Lucy from the Lego Movie, and saw the actual set where some of it was filmed. Then the kids got their Lego driving licences and drove around the test track. We went on various rides and saw lots of Lego sculptures, but it was at MiniLand that Fainjin found what I think he had been looking for. Entire cities (or representations of cities, anyway), made of Lego.  While Babess asked why the model boats were floating in real water (instead of Lego water, I guess), he was nodding in approval, soaking it all in.

There were opportunities to build, and more rides, but by the end of the day all Fainjin & Babess wanted to do was run around on the adventure playground on Castle Hill. So they did, and were content, and arrived back at the hotel exhausted once again, asleep as soon as their heads touched their pillows.

(photos are refusing to upload; I’ll attempt something when I’ve had some sleep myself!)

© UpsideBackwards 2014.

New York, New York

June 10, 2014

We left Iceland sadly yesterday, determined to return.  We arrived in New York as dark fell – something we hadn’t seen for a week! – tired and hungry.  We were grateful to be in a city that famously never sleeps, as it made getting dinner for the family at 10pm very easy – there’s a 24-hour supermarket just around the corner.

Our apartment here is teeny-tiny.  The children are all sleeping on two fold-out couches which take up the entire “lounge”, and front door opens right into our “bedroom”, which isn’t really a room so much as an alcove.  But it sleeps 5 and is in a good area and there’s enough kitchen to make cups of tea and breakfast and heat up supermarket dinners, so it will do.

This morning it was pouring with rain.  The Dad and I thanked our lucky stars it hadn’t been like that last night when we were carrying our heavy backpacks through the city, and also that the weather would be cooler than the 31ºC earlier predicted!

The children, spoilt by a few wonderful Icelandic summer days, were very reluctant to budge from the apartment.  We dragged them out anyway.

It’s an easy walk to Times Square, and the big Toys R Us store was a dry refuge from the storm.  Of course the ferris wheel inside (!) was a must-do, and we had great fun exploring everything else in there too.

On the ferris wheel!

On the ferris wheel!

We had an early lunch at a nearby deli, then went to M&Ms world (against The Dad’s better judgement).  I let the kids spend some of their pocket money on the “candy wall” – a rather expensive way to buy M&Ms but they loved being able to choose their own flavour & colour combinations.

Next stop was the Discovery Museum‘s exhibition “The Art of the Brick”, which was amazing.  We hadn’t known about it until we saw a flyer at the information centre in the morning.  Fainjin particularly liked the full-sized dinosaur skeleton, and I suspect he’s itching to get home to his big box of bricks!

Lego sculpture

Lego sculpture

Flash photography was not allowed, so this is blurry

Flash photography was not allowed, so this is blurry

lego mosaic of The Great Wave off Kanagawa

lego mosaic of The Great Wave off Kanagawa

From there we wandered down to the Highline, which was a little further than we had thought but we found it nonetheless.  We climbed up the stairs and ended up walking about half the length of this charming park.  What an inspiration, to take an old elevated railway and turn it into park space!

The Highline

The Highline

We took the subway back up to 42nd St, and walked to Grand Central Station to admire its sheer grandiosity and gorgeous ceiling.  Then we headed to the Rockefeller Center and Fainjin had his first Lego Store experience.  It was very very busy, but we still had fun.  There’s a big Lego model of the Rockefeller Plaza right in the window, and next to it there are about 10 questions – if you can answer them all you can claim a prize, it says.  So we spent quite a long time counting various things and looking for features and hidden items.  Eventually we thought between us we had got them all – some were pretty tricky! – so we summoned a staff member and gave our answers.  He was very generous and told us we didn’t need all the answers, and gave us a “close enough!” on some of them anyway.  Then he said for our prize we could each make a free minifigure!  So of course we spent even longer searching out just the right head, torso, legs, hair/hat and accessory each.  It was great fun.

Checking out the mini-scene in the Lego Store window

Checking out the mini-scene in the Lego Store window

And then it was time to come home for dinner & bed.  The children admitted that it might have been worth leaving the apartment in the morning, after all.

© UpsideBackwards 2014.

Silly question, Dad!

December 17, 2013

Fainjin has modified his Lego Father Christmas, adding some talons from a Hero Factory set he has.  The Dad (who is usually quite bright) was puzzled, and asked why he’d done it.



Fainjin giggled with glee.  “Because he’s Santa CLAWS!”

Well, of course.

© UpsideBackwards 2013.


Another birthday list

October 7, 2013

We were in the car, heading home from errands, and Fainjin started listing all the different Lego sets he would like to own.

“For Christmas and my birthday, can I have…” and he reeled off what sounded like a complete catalogue.  I was a bit confused by the Lion Cheating Pool, but later discovered it was the Lion Chi Temple.

“You’ll have to make me a list,” I told him.

“Or you could just remember,” he assured me confidently.  Bless.

“That’s too much for me to remember!” and I reminded him, “If you write a list, that doesn’t mean you get everything on the list, it just means we probably pick one from the list, ok?”

“OK!” he was fine with that – and it’s always been how it works in our house, so it was no surprise.  Of course, that doesn’t stop the kids from hoping they’ll get everything.  They are kids.

When we got home, he seized a piece of paper and a pencil and disappeared into his room with the Lego catalogue.  A short while later he was back with his list.  He showed it to me, then went through the catalogue pointing out all the things he hadn’t put on the list but still wouldn’t mind getting.

“Fainjin!  It sounds like you don’t need a list.  I can just buy you any Lego at all and you will be happy – is that right?”

He nodded seriously.  “You could just close your eyes and pick one, that would be fine.”

Then he thought for a bit.  “But you’d better open your eyes again and check the ages, ‘cos some of the boxes are only for 8 year olds and older, and I will only be seven.”

© UpsideBackwards 2013.

Pocket money day

August 5, 2012

Hello again, remember me?  (Blush).  I did warn you that Olympic fever had gripped the UpsideBackwards household.  Well, over the last week I have rarely been in bed before midnight, and have got up in the small hours of the morning – and what’s more, tried (usually unsuccessfully) to entice the children to join me – to watch New Zealand compete and win medals in equestrian eventing, rowing, cycling, rowing, and more rowing.  This has had a deleterious effect on my blogging.  Oh well, it’s only once every four years, and we’re already about half-way through.

Today we decided it was time to take the kids to spend some of their pocket money again.  It has been longer than we had intended since the last time, so they had quite a bit to spend!

Babess had recently wished she had a pushchair for her dolls.  She used to have one – she got it for her 2nd birthday – but it wore out a while ago.  I suggested she could buy one for herself, and she was thrilled with the idea.  They’re not terribly expensive, and I quietly made sure there was enough in her money-box (it was about right anyway).

Fainjin had enough saved up for quite a big Lego set.  He chose the forest fire engine – what a surprise!  It comes with a water cannon and a tree with flames on it.  I’m not sure how many Lego fire engines we have now.  I find it comforting that the bricks spend half their time being rebuilt into spaceships and robots though.

Pearl agonised over her spend.  We had said they could buy one thing each, and if it didn’t use all their money the remainder was to go back into the money box for next time.  Eventually she chose a box set of Artemis Fowl books, greatly reduced and a real bargain.

We had a lovely peaceful afternoon as they all played happily and proudly with their new things.

We reminded them again that these are the rewards for doing their jobs when they’re asked – something they have been really good about lately.  Babess is the latest one to ask to vacuum the kitchen.  She takes about 10 minutes but does a very thorough job.  I might have to increase her pocket money rate…

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Thank you

February 19, 2012

“Mum, what can I do?” asked Fainjin yesterday morning.  Meaning, of course, “Can I please watch TV?”

“Ummm,” I replied, trying to think of a non-electronic entertainment.  “Tidy your room, play with your Lego, read a book…”

He regarded me steadily.

“… write a letter?”

“Oooh!  A thank you letter!  On the Peter Rabbit paper!”

I blinked at the enthusiam, but got the paper for him.  He recently received a belated birthday present from an aunt and uncle.  Lego, of course, which he loves as passionately as all his other Lego.

I started to write the letter for him.  He is still at the stage of dictating the words, then writing his name and drawing a picture at the bottom.

“Dear Uncle & Auntie, Thank you for the Lego! I really really love it!  Please can you send some more?  I like the forest fire-engine in the big box.”

“Um, it’s not really polite to ask for more presents in your thank-you letter, actually.  You might just have to wait for Christmas now, I think.”

“Oh.” He was quite disappointed, but didn’t protest and drew a picture happily enough.

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

One building, many uses

January 6, 2012

Babess built a little square building out of Lego, and put the Lego police dogs (cuuute!) in it.  She told me it was a dog house, I asked if it was a kennel but she said no, it’s a dog house.  She needed a bit of help getting the bricks to sit together firmly, and getting the dogs to stand up on the bricks.  There was lots of adjusting the positions of the walls and re-arranging the roof, but eventually she was happy.

Next morning, Fainjin brought out the same building.  He had embellished it with some windows and outlying structures, and strung a Lego chain across an opening.  “It’s a rocket crasher!” he told me, and described in great detail how a rocket would try to fly through the gap but get caught up in the chain and go “crash crash crash!” and fall to pieces.

Pearl turned it back into a luxury kennel later, and had the dogs enjoying the fresh air from the roof.  She put in all sorts of facilities for them, being very concerned for their wellbeing.  I was too, if any rockets crashed into their house.  She thought quite hard about which way the dogs should face.  They ended up facing each other, nose to nose – perhaps even kissing.

It reappeared again this morning.  The dogs were gone again, and Fainjin had expanded the building still further.  Now it was a Space House, with a garage.  In the garage, there was – of course – a rocket.  Every home should have one.

I wonder what it will be tomorrow?

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

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