Do Your Spawnlings Wear Sunglasses?

sunglasses-featureI wear sunglasses all the time. Seriously, every day. Take a look at my profile picture. The spawnlings each have their own pair as well. However, shopping for sunglasses is a tiring exercise.

I recently did a review on some sunglasses over on GeekMom. Yes, I scored some freebies for it (perks of blogging). To be completely honest, I was really wary about any sunglasses purchased online. Remember, I am of the bespectacled species; pretty much useless if my prescripted lenses are even slightly out.

I also grew up in Northern Australia. Sunglasses are part of the uniform when you cross the border. And if the sunglasses aren’t meeting the grade, it will cost you big time in headaches, eyestrain, and a bunch of other health factors.

The idea of buying sunglasses online was as appealing as shopping in person–which I hate.

The thing is, how do you know you’re buying quality before you hand over your cash? You look for reviews of people who truly put something to the same testing you would.

And yes. My spawnlings like to destroy things.

So here’s the review for you again, in a more “Evil Genius Mum” standard. Again, you can read the full review over at GeekMom, with full costs and links; I’m just expanding upon the testing and suitability for each spawnling.

For the energetic 3-year-old honey badger

Zaltu is three years of pure energy (like a lot of three-year-olds), inspired and motivated by her older brothers. She’ll give anything a go, because “she don’t care!” Zaltu is not a stereotype; she likes all bold colours, surfing the waves with her dad, racing in Mario Kart with her mum, pulling out the DC Superhero Girls dolls, and dreams of being an astronaut. Generally, she likes the idea of sunglasses, but they never stay long on her face because they tend to interfere with whatever chaos ensues.

These Julbo Booba sunglasses have been an absolute hit. Zaltu loves wearing them everywhere. And yes, I do mean everywhere.zaltus-sunglasses

The sunglasses look good. They have bright bold colours with soft enough arms to rest easily on her head. Zaltu has a big head like her mother. We recently learnt Zaltu’s glasses fit an 8-year-old friend. True fact. I was a tad nervous about stretching them, but the sunglasses flexed really well.

The quality of the lenses is fantastic: plastic category-3 lenses, designed for full UV protection. These sunglasses are the genuine product, cutting out the glare so prevalent on both the beach and the ski slopes. And the added wrap-around feature is a boon to both light-leak and fitting on the head.zaltu-julbo-sunglasses

They are also fairly scratch-resistant. Zaltu throws these things everywhere. Yet they come up a lot better than the scratch-resistance I paid for with my sunglasses. They have survived the sandy beach and easily cleaned up afterwards. I’m not sure exactly what they have done, but these sunglasses have completely survived the Summer Holidays of a three-year-old. They are good.

For the experimenting 7-year-old scientist

Nefarious is the scientist, with the curiosity for why things happen (and how to make it go “BOOM!” again). He is the one to think outside the box and push things to the limits.nefarious-sunglasses-polaroid

Aesthetically, the style is a little more “classic cool” with bolder colours to choose from. They are the perfect transition point between the high-energy fun of the Julbos and the more conservative frames for the older kids. These frames are a harder plastic but not so hard as to stick into a kid’s head.

The good thing about the harder plastic frames: they have survived tree climbing, being sat on by Sinister, and a short but effective game of tug-o-war with Zaltu. The frames have a small amount of flex to the structure, but not so much to bounce out a lens.

Of course, Nefarious loved the reflective lenses because they hide his eyes. Yes, I did explain to him about the practicality of the lenses, but he didn’t care. He is seven. He just loves rolling his eyes at me behind those shades.nefarious-polaroid-sunglasses

Only downside: they don’t wrap around and stop the light leak on the side. However, Nefarious says he hates that style. So clearly this is my issue, and I should be grateful he has sunnies he is willing to wear.

For the smooth 10-year-old chilling out

Sinister is the more subtle of the three spawnlings. While he loves to be the class clown, he only likes the attention if he is in control of it. At heart, he is quite conservative and deep-in-thought. Sinister is the one to sit back and watch you from behind his sunglasses, playing out a million and one scenarios in his head.sinisters-sunglasses

Again, smooth, classic style but in a colour variant he likes. These are the hardest plastic of all the frames. There is no flex in the arms whatsoever. The true test of comfort: Sinister is still wearing these on top of his sunburnt nose and there is no pain.

Like his brother, Sinister also likes the mirrored lenses. He also appreciates the single colour scheme, as he feels a little more ‘grown-up’. What I did notice with this pair is that the frames are ever so slightly curved to the face. Even though they are not fitted, they do provide a bit more protection to the eyes on the sides.sinister-sunglasses

See those water droplets in the photo above? No watermark. Not sure exactly what special feature that is, but from a prescripted lens point of view (who hates any smudge or scratch on her glasses) this is AMAZING. What kind of dark magic is this?!? And how do I score some!!

Each of these sunglasses survived the Spawnling Test Zone; buried at the beach, thrown across the room, sat on by older brothers, running through water features, spinning around and around on a spinning teacup. The worst they seem to have is a slightly loose screw in one arm on Zaltu’s sunglasses, which is easily fixed at any glasses shop or with your own tiny screwdriver at home. I wear glasses all the time and a loose screw is nothing new in this family… or in our glasses.

I’m still stunned by how easy it was. Vision Direct is an Australian website, and they deliver anywhere in the world. They provided me with the kids’ sunglasses for reviews, and now I am so impressed I am going back to them for my own prescripted sunglasses (at my own expense).

The hardest part of the whole process was probably measuring Zaltu’s face for her glasses—have you recently asked a three-year-old to stand still for 10 seconds?

My Spawnlings Drive Me Crazy

There comes a time in every parents’ life when they look at their precious little spawnlings and say to themselves, “Good Gods in Hades. What have I created?”

I used to think our spawnlings take after their father, with a healthy dose of my dry wit to keep them fresh and alert. I now realise how wrong I am, and worse still: It is all my own fault.

This realisation came to me last Thursday when the EG Mobile broke.

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Short story: Zaltu and I started driving home from the doctors’ (just a check-up) and the battery light comes up on the dash. By the time we have covered the 5km back to our home, every light is on and I have lost power steering. I am still surprised I maneuvered that tank up our driveway.

Because I was able to drive it (and other factors), we figured it was the alternator, not the battery. I called a mobile mechanic, who would be there the next day. No problem. I can walk to school to pick up the boys, and we’ll just miss martial arts that day.

Sinister was first to meet us at the school-gate.

We’re not going to martial arts today, buddy.

“Why not?”

The car’s broken.

“What did you do to it this time?!?”

Now, given he has a fairly good reason for this response. In the last 3 years, I have sideswiped 2 poles. Two stationary cement poles. The first was totally my fault for not checking my mirrors when backing out of a carpark space. The second was totally not my fault since another car was heading straight for me and the only space I had was to scrape the damn pole. I know I should have let the guy hit us for insurance purposes, but since he over-corrected and started heading for Nefarious’ door I think the pole was the better option.

Prior to these events, I have never NEVER crashed my car.

But the spawnlings don’t know this. They just think their incubator shouldn’t drive near cement poles.

For the record, spawnling, I did nothing to the car. The alternator died and needs replacing.

“The alternator? Is that like a fancy word for ‘passenger side door that was taken off by a cement pole’?”

trolling-meAnd there you have it, folks. Sinister is my own personal troll. That’s exactly the same sarcastic wit I have been using as my primary language for the last 40-odd years. Clearly he does listen to me… At times.

Nefarious was next to join us, and I told him the same: Not going to martial arts because the car is broken.

“What did you do to it this time, mum?”

Sinister: “Hey, that’s what I said!”

I can’t even be mad at them. Not only have I created the scenario, but I have total admiration for their quick wit. Both of them.

Suffice to say, both spawnlings have lived to tell the tale to their father, who is conveniently away in the US for work and thus a safe distance to laugh long and hard at his poor suffering wife.

 

Edit: BTW–This isn’t the first time EG Dad has been absent during a household Chaos-Event. Last time was the Broken Wrist v Broken Fridge event. Convenient, don’t you think?

 

Forensic Fridays: The Spawnlings Are Taking Over

I know, I know.

Forensic Fridays took a weeeeeee holiday of late.

However, they are starting up again. And mostly because of Sinister (now 9yo).

We have returned to school (in fact, we are Week 3, I think), and already the EG-spawnling has received a rather hefty assignment (more on his education at a later date).

A lot of his assignments have experiments or ‘project’ elements to them. For example, the first one he will share is to build his own terrarium based on the concept of a biosphere.

Sinister is not the only one in full-on project mode. Nefarious has his own obsession happening: He wants to build a Lego Empire State Building. We’re not talking some little bunch of bricks in the shape of the Empire State Building either.

We’re talking research the dimensions of the Empire State Building; calculate the ratio to a workable size with Lego; calculate the number of Lego pieces required; understand the structural support required with the size; etc, etc.

And yes. We will share that one too.

So Forensic Fridays are about to start up again, in a full intensive manner – as becoming of EG Inc.

I love my little spawnlings, but they keep me on my toes.

There are going to be some new sub-headings with the Forensic Fridays for the spawnlings to share. Starting with Sinister tomorrow.

 

Nefarious – Future Marketing Guru

Big Hero 6

From what I am hearing, this is going to be the movie of Holidays.

Of course, it has yet to open in Australia. Not until Boxing Day.

Which is driving many minions insane. But not me. Oh no.

This is a great bargaining tool for the spawnlings. All I did was tell them how much GeekMom loved it (and Corrina Lawson raved about it) and they were hooked.

What’s it about, mum?

Robots. And it’s animated.

Yeah!! We are seeing THAT!!

And here is where Nefarious shines, in all his 5 years of glorious infamy.

His teacher asked me about “some movie called Big Hero 6.”

So I told her what I told Nefarious.

And she said “That’s what he said. But somehow, he said it in a way that has convinced the ENTIRE class to see it in Boxing Day.”

That’s my boy. I reckon if he sets up a lemonade stand outside the cinema, he’d convince them to buy that too.

And I can’t think of many professions more evil than marketing.

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Have you seen Big Hero 6? No spoilers!

Have you ever had someone else’s enthusiasm completely sell you on the product?

One Birthday Party at a Time (Nefarious is now 4)

Happy 4th Birthday Nefarious!

Nefarious has an awesome birthday.

His first birthday was on Free Comic Book Day. Coolest morning ever. We went over to the local comic book store and introduced him to Daleks, Imperial troops, and The Batman.

It has since become a bit of a tradition for young Nefarious to celebrate his birthday with some sort of comic book festivity. No complaints from the rest of the family, of course.

This year was Nefarious’ first birthday party – and he wanted a super-hero/villain theme. With a trip to the comic book store. In costume.

Our first cosplay.

And it was brilliant. Thanks to the many minions on Facebook and Twitter who provided suggestions for my pregnant bump to still be in cosplay.FCBD 2

But how did the rest of the party go? What wonderful birthday tips can I give to my minions for their own celebrations? Here’s the list:

  1. Stand by your theme: Super-hero/villain. Spawnlings love it, but they love it even more if the parents are in theme too!FCBD
  2.  Carry the theme through everything: There are some really easy ways to carry a theme through food and decorations. For example, EG Dad was responsible for the Batman Biscuits (below). They are simply Arnott’s Arrowroot biscuits with a slather of yellow icing and black writing-icing to draw the Bat Signal. So easy! photo (2)
  3. Keep it simple but strong: You don’t need to go over the top with the games and decorations. Just change the name for the kids. 4yo spawnlings loved “Pass the Kryptonite” as the pass-the-parcel game, with each layer wrapped in green paper. And since Nefarious is a Ben 10 fan, we included “Pin the Omnitrix on Ben”.
  4. Music makes it: Music can be a tricky one, but a little thought goes a long way. We happen to have a Star Wars Episode II CD (only good thing from that disaster of a movie…) and it was an  absolute hit for the spawnlings! So easy to recognise the theme! A bit of Buble singing Spider-Man seemed to appease the parents who stayed too.
  5. EsmeSave a bit of creativity for the Party Bags: We had a few older siblings tag along – so we kept a couple of Free Comic Book Day comics for them. Personally, I prefer to do something different with birthday bags. So this time I made capes – I think there was a bit of Esme-defiance kicking in here. Nevertheless, the capes definitely The Thing. Still played with around our Lair and other houses in the neighbourhood.
  6. Birthday Cakes are ESSENTIAL: I don’t care whether you make it or not. The kids don’t care whether you make it or not. But it has to carry the THEME!! Fortunately Nefarious was ecstatic with an Omnitrix cake. Seriously – how easy was that! photo (9)

So there you go. Don’t over-do it. Kids like it simple. Nefarious absolutely loved his birthday party, and was still talking about it later. It was easy-going and popular with the other spawnlings. Talk about simple mind-manipulation. I think I have a team of potential minions for my spawnlings, all set and ready to go. That, to me, is the greatest sign of success.