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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Saturday Swag-urday

Even though the sun is peeping through my window as I type, America's consumer culture is forcing me to get prepared for Christmas.

Michael's, and now Costco have begun their preparations; twinkling white lights, animated deer, and bigger than life sized Santas have come out to play.

I can't say I'm really in the Christmas spirit yet, but the kids (who are ruled by expert marketing ploys) are already starting to talk about the big guy.

#1 (bless his following-in-Mommy's-genius footsteps) actually threatened #2 with Santa's Naughty List at the dinner table yesterday.

#2: Do I have to eat deez beans to get a snack?
Me: You betcha big guy.
#2: I don't like them (pushes them away, tipping over his water cup in the process).
Me: Well, I don't like it when you behave this way. You need to calm down and eat your food.
#2: You need to calm down. You're being mean to me and you da baddest mommy in da world today.
Me: (Giving him the stank eye and calming down, not because he said so, because if I don't I will wring is little neck.)
#1: Uhoh. I think someone just got his Naughty List out and is writing your name on it.
#2: (Evil eyeing #1.)
#1: Yep, you better watch it, Buddy, because Santa gives kids a pass during the summer, but summer is over now and school is back and he's watching again.
Me: Wait, Santa goes on vacation?
#1: Of course. Don't you remember we saw him this summer at the 4th of July party? He was probably on his way to the beach.

Me: That's right. Listen to your brother, he's a smart dude.

Who knew I was such an awesome use-trickery-when-necessary-to-get-what-you-want role model?

So, let's see if I can convince you guys to start your holiday shopping a little early this year with another recommendation on PBD's Ultimate Bomb Diggity Gift Giving Guide of 2009.

How about Zhu Zhu Pets?!

I know, they seem a little creepy, and probably not your idea of fun.

I feel ya! I was not a fan of the life like rodent toy either when I was lured into the living room to watch the commercial (which was rewound at key moments) for these things.

And then, we were offered the opportunity to test drive these bad boys and share them with some of our neighborhood friends.

I figured, it was a good opportunity to prove (once again) that I'm right and that Zhu Zhu Pets (or any other toy that pretends to be a rodent) are not fun.

Alas, I was mistaken; they have not stopped playing with the bloody things since the day they landed on our doorstep!


They were a huge hit at the party, too.

All the kids LOVED them and (from what I hear) are still playing with them now (so be sure to have extra AAA batteries on hand, 'cause explaining a dead hamster to a four year old is not gonna be fun).

Despite their obvious kid appeal, I do have to tell you about two things I was not too happy to discover.

1) The Zhu Zhu Pets line includes an entire Zhu Zhu Pets play world (like a Hamster fun land with housing, transportation, and family fun centers) that has to be assembled.

It was a beast to put together.

I'm not a role model when it comes to assembly required toys by any stretch of the imagination, so don't let my shortcoming deter you.

I followed the directions okay, and it looked good in the end, but I distinctly recall taking the Lord's name in vain at least once, and breaking a sweat during the whole put-it-together process.

Worst part is that during the course of regular play the happy hamster land may come apart (because your toddler sits on it), at which point your child may become inpatient (aka yelling loudly and possibly bursting into tears) as you attempt to reassemble it without cursing in front of him (and a whole party full of 3 and 4 year olds).

2) This toy is not intended for children under the age of 4.

I realize that this disclaimer is CLEARLY labeled on the front of every Zhu Zhu Pet and Zhu Zhu Pet accessory.

But, you try telling your 19 month old that while his brothers are going to have their very own Zhu Zhu Pet to raise, he will have to stand idly by and watch them play with them and their hamster hideout.

Um, yeah, not gonna happen.

You can try, but this is what you get...

But, let's say you give in and let the little one have a pet of his own. I mean, tons of toys have that same disclaimer on it and he's never really had a problem before (aside from a little frustration over not being able to figure the toy out).

Then, friends, your one year old who is admittedly way too young to safely play with this toy, could end up like this...

My bad.

Although, I will say that Zhu Zhu Pets might want to say that this toy is not intended for kids under the age of four OR for children with hair.

Just sayin'.

In all honesty, this toy was a huge hit with the kids, particularly with my four year old (even though my 7 year old has one too that he likes to keep under his pillow).

I recommend it (even though my better judgement tells me to shy away from faux rodents for fear the children may decide they might like to have a real one) for kids who are not likely to attempt to drive it through their hair (it's the effing wheels, they go forward, and then they go back, and then they go forward again which means get your scissors if you want to extract it from hairy spots).


Want to win your very own Zhu Zhu Pet with Hamstermobile and garage?

Of course you do, silly!

All you have to do to enter is:

1. Leave a comment telling me you want it and follow my blog.
2. You can get an extra entry if you follow me on Twitter, too. (@thenagainphoto)

That's it. You don't even have to prove to me your kid is over 4!

Winner of the incredibly-fun-but-borderline-painful-if-you-can't-follow-basic-instructions Zhu Zhu Pet will be announced next Saturday (contest closes Friday 9/8 @midnight)

Looking for previous entries on the gift guide? Check here!


Theta Mom said...

You're right, Christmas IS around the corner, and although I am not in the spirit of things quite yet, I'm going to get my act together, too. Just bought the kids Halloween costumes, so I thought I was ahead of the game!

Visiting from SITS! Happy Sharefest! :)

Courtney said...

Happy Saturday Sharefest!

I started Christmas shopping, too! This is the first year that my daughter (almost three now) will really "get" the whole Santa thing, so I'm looking forward to it!

The Zhu Zhu Pets look like a lot of fun!


Scary Mommy said...

Oh, that FACE. I love it! And after my recent experience trying out pets, I think a stuffed one is our only option. :)

I subscribe, follow and all that jazz.

Livy said...

dear gawd. I want one and I follow your blog.

Mira is triplet crown said...

Oh lord, he had to put it in his hair didn't he? At least with him, if you cut some off, there's a ton left!

Anonymous said...

I am not quite geared up for Christmas it will come though! I would love that gift though.... that would help for sure!

Keyona said...

I totally have already started my Christmas shopping. But before that I have to birthday shop. Lael will be 6 on Oct 29th and the Zhu Zhu's are at the TOP of her list. Please put me in the drawing!

I follow your blog and on Twitter already, you know....because you rock.

I hope sucking up gives me extra entries. ;-)

Twincerely,Olga said...

Thanks for stopping by nd for the compliment!!! You rock! You are so funny!How do I put the moxie thing on my blog? No laughing here,I am new!LOL I would love it if you'd follow me as I am trying to win a bet!

Twincerely,Olga said...

okay I meant and!!! I am a spelling freak!

Orange Juice said...

yeah baby u r da baddest mommy!
trickery is the way to go. ur raising them right ;)

our b life said...

Christmas is around the corner? I am still getting over swimming in the pool! My boy wants the Zhu Zhu pets.

Anonymous said...

Another great plus. They don't smell. And if they die you can just put a new battery in them instead having a little hamster funeral.

Twincerely,Olga said...

hi!I am now stalking you ,I mean following and I grabbed your button. I now have one as my blog is done so come on over and get it you crazy woman!

KK said...

I want it and I'm a follower! I start shopping Christmas shopping now, so I don't have to spend an entire paycheck in December!

Anonymous said...

Why are you scarying me about Christmas? Last year I was half way through at this time. Ok, fine, I want the toy so that I can say I started. Does that work?

Anonymous said...

we were considering a real hamster but this would be much better- no poop to clean up.

ck said...

#1 is awesome! I had no idea that Santa gave kids a pass during the summer. But now that I know...

ck said...

Soooo...can I still enter even though I can't technically "follow" your blog (love that WordPress), but you know I'm a faithful reader? And since I already follow you on Twitter, does that count?

(Yes, I was a Tracy Flick kinda hand-raiser in school. Name that film and if I ever have a contest you'll win three extra entries!)

Adrian's Crazy Life said...

I know I'm too late for the giveaway, but I think this is a great idea for a toy. We've had the live ones numerous times and I think these are so much better. They aren't so delicate, they don't smell, and if the kids get tired of them (they always do) you don't have to keep feeding them for eternity. Plus they can be handled at will without worrying about them biting, pooping, or getting loose in the house.

Giving away two copies of the movie Extract starring Jason Bateman and Ben Affleck. Contest ends 4/2/10.
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