Hula Girl received (and gave) several games and toys for Christmas this year. I just want to highlight a few so we don’t forget how awesome things were in the week post-Christmas in the future. Classic memories were made and are still in the making! Let’s hope they’re still making in March!

Disclaimer: We do not spoil our children. If it sounds like Hula Girl got a lot of presents, it’s because she really only gets new things at Christmas and on her birthday, which are conveniently spaced about 6 months apart. We don’t do a lot of “just because” toys. I also want to state that I do not generally buy a lot of toys that make noise or have one function. And even when we have that kind of toy, I encourage Hula Girl to use it for other purposes if she sees fit.

Hula Girl’s favorite present this year, bar none, was a dollhouse we scored off of Craigslist. I had mentioned to my parents that I’d like to give her a dollhouse this year. I had a nice wooden number in mind. Alas, they are way expensive and my dad was too busy to build one for her. But I really wanted her to have one. So my mom, doing what my mom does best, kept her eyes peeled for a bargain. And whoa, her bargain-location device was in tip-top shape. This dollhouse is awesome. It’s a Loving Family dollhouse by Fisher Price. It includes ALL the accessories. Working lamps, radios, music boxes, and hot tub bubbles are just the beginning. The horse neighs. This thing has not just an infant seat for the baby, but it also has a bouncer, a swing, a crib, a tub, a changing table, and a baby gym. Just for the baby. And then there are all the other things for the other four members of the family plus dog and horses. My mom scored a sweet deal. And Hula Girl has logged at least fifteen hours playing with that dollhouse (alone and with family) since Christmas.

Hula Girl’s second-most-played-with Christmas gift is her small baby doll. It came with a stroller and that baby has had more trips around the staircase than she knows what to do with. Ama also included an extra outfit for the baby. The moment the baby was out of the package, she was stripped naked (a recurring theme with ALL of Hula Girl’s baby dolls lately). But yesterday, all she wanted to do was to put the new outfit on the baby and then switch to the “old” outfit, and back. She’s really making strides with her dexterity- she can put the shirt on all by herself, but still needs help with the pants. Still, impressive, considering she has never before done anything but rip clothes OFF the baby dolls!

Other gifts that come to me off the top of my head include her trampoline, Sit’n’Spin, puzzle, nail polishes (thanks, Grampy! her toes are sparkly pink right now!), stamp set (to be opened and used when Daddy’s gone back to work- thanks, Nay-Nay!), and her play kitchen. Basically, the girl RAKED it in this year. Which was great, because she is at the perfect age to really appreciate a lot of these gifts.

Another special gift was her Jesus Storybook Bible. Girl made me cry when we opened it up and looked at the pictures and she told me the whole story all the way from Adam and Eve through David and Goliath (including the flood, the tower of Babel, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and so on). Looks like she’ll be quite familiar with the Word. That makes me so happy.

But let me tell you about Candyland. A game requiring absolutely no skill whatsoever, not even reading. And yet,

Hula Girl gave it to Jonathan for Christmas, per Ama’s suggestion that she give him something they can do together. A game? Less than $5? Requiring no reading? Done.

We have played it three times as a family since Christmas, and I don’t know why, but I always end up at least twenty-five colorful spaces (that look like Laffy Taffy now, BTW, for those of you who don’t play an updated version of Candyland) behind both Jonathan and Hula Girl. Of course, Jonathan has won the majority of the games. But even when Hula Girl does win, she couldn’t care less. She doesn’t understand the concept of “winning” or coming in “first” yet. All in due time, my love. Stay sweet. 🙂

But I DO understand the concept of LOSING. And I keep.on.losing. Like, not by two or three spaces. Or even two or three turns. By the time Jonathan gets to the Candy Castle, I’m still chillin’ at the GINGERBREAD HOUSE. Yeah. He gets all these double-purples and I get like, orange. I have yet to get a special space card. No lollipops or ice cream cones for me. Heaven forbid I get the chocolate.


Guess Candyland’s not my game, after all.


  1. Kristy said,

    January 3, 2013 at 10:37 am

    I wonder if there is a Candyland curse for moms. I usually get a card the color of my very next space. Okay, exaggerating a tiny bit. It is FUN to get to family board game age! We have recently entered the next board game age frame where Xander can play a couple of our regular board games with us, not just stuff like Monopoly Jr.

    Her Christmas sounds wonderful. Exciting times!

    • January 3, 2013 at 5:51 pm

      Haha, I tried to invent a toddler version of Qwirkle this morning- it was a disaster. But Hula Girl liked it! lol

      • Kristy said,

        January 3, 2013 at 5:59 pm

        Sometimes I wonder if the things we count as big failures but that the kids thought were fun will be the things they remember as the big fantastic things we did for them.

  2. Carol said,

    January 3, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Stick to Monopoly – you rock at that! Just don’t teach it to Lyra quite yet!

    • January 3, 2013 at 5:52 pm

      I am pretty good at Monopoly. Or maybe I just play Irish family members who don’t like cutthroat. 😉

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