Toy Bonanza

05.05.11 8 months, 2 weeks

tucker toys may 2011 article.jpg

Last weekend was the semi-annual charity fund-raising sale we go to, where there are tons of toys and clothes at amazing prices. We loaded up on cute stuff for summer, as well as some good new toys for Tucker. Of course, once I got everything home and set about washing it I realized that some things weren’t in great shape or didn’t work as well as I’d hoped—such is the peril of a frantic madhouse sale environment! Yesterday I went to Ikea with my friend Lauren, and picked up better versions of the two things I’d really wanted—a shape sorter and one of the wire-bead roller coasters.

I have to say, Ikea’s toys are so fantastic. The Mula line has the roller coaster, a wagon full of blocks, stacking blocks, and so forth. I got the abacus, shape sorter and roller coaster, along with a set of stacking cups, for a total of $25. A similar roller coaster alone on Amazon starts at about $35. Everything is nicely made with smooth wood and rounded corners. The shape sorter ($4.99) looks like a little house, with a beautiful wood box and a peaked plastic roof that Tucker is extremely interested in waving around and chewing on.

I wanted the stacking cups ($2.49) because they used them in our music class and they’re a great design. Each cup has a different pattern along the edge, and some of them are two colors. They stack much more securely than our other set, and Tucker loves the top piece, which is a rounded dome.

Oh, Ikea. You always get me.

We’ve had a little bit of a rocky week, as Tucker gets two top teeth: Not the front ones, but the ones on either side, like tiny fangs. Oh dear! They’ve finally broken through, so hopefully we’ll have a peaceful break before the next round, which I’m sure will work their way out while we’re on vacation.

It feels incredibly full-circle to be planning for our annual May trip to Europe, but here I am—we leave in less than a week. My first blog post here went up just after we got back last year, but I’d originally written it while I was struggling to pack for two weeks in a carry-on while barely being able to keep my still-too-big maternity clothes on. Awkward. This year I am just sucking it up and accepting that we will always check bags from here on out! I still never have the right shoes for these things, though. Ugh.

Sorry to be a bit short and flat this week—I’m pretty worn down and definitely ready for a vacation. Of course, our Florida trip taught me that vacations with a baby are...not that relaxing. Luckily we are renting a house and an apartment for all but two nights, so Tucker will have his own bedroom and we won’t be reduced to eating on the bathroom floor again!

Kate Flaim is a freelance journalist and food blogger based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.