The boys save pennies. They get them for good behavior and helping and speaking respectfully. Every 100 pennies they save is equal to $10 to spend at our local BX. The selection at the BX is ... well ... not fantastic. There is one half of one side of aisle of toys for boys in my kids age range. There is very rarely anything there that really moves them much.
[I could not BELIEVE the number of aisles of toys in Target when we went back to the USA. Holy cow! How could you ever decide what to buy -- as a child or a grown-up?]
But Isaac spotted a Superman comforter the other day in the tiny bedding section of our BX, and it moved him. He got soooo excited. He quickly asked me how many pennies he would need to save to earn that blanket. I calculated. 450. That's a lot.
So we went home and counted. He had nearly 200 saved. And he had $20 that family had given him for his birthday. Sidge wanted the Spiderman one. He didn't have 450 pennies but John (who is truly the softy when it comes to this kind of stuff) allowed him to purchase it anyways -- with the promise that he could work off the pennies later.
(It's not like we could just run to the next store over to get these blankets if they sold out.)
Even funnier? Our little girl went to the pink blankets on the opposite side, picked one up and immediately said, "Baby." (This is what she calls herself.) It was as if she knew that the blankets her brothers were picking were for boys and that she wanted one for girls. And Daddy the softy? Bought that one too! It has princesses on it! (Egads!)
Here is a picture of the boys' blankets in their room:
JB and I stood at the entrance to their room for a number of minutes, just sort of staring at these blankets. For some reason ... blankets ... were a lot more emotional than we ever thought about them being.
When we were adopting Isaac, we decorated the nursery in a "Safari-themed" pattern. The reason was that it was green ... a color that would work for a child of either sex. If for any reason, Bri changed her mind, and Isaac didn't come home to live with us forever, we could use the nursery for the daughter we had been intending to adopt from China. Safari was safe.
We have used the same theme with Abigail. Kept is simple. Added a little bit of pink, but hey, we are a military family. We move a lot. No need to go to extremes.
Suddenly the little "safari-themed" nursery that we had first set up when the boys were babies is being erased and changed by superheroes. Our boys are growing up. The room still has relics of that safari-theme emerging. But our little boys chose to color over them with a theme of their own.
Watching kids growing up is such a myriad of emotions. It's so nice to see them be more independent. To allow them to play on their own and not have to watch every move they make. But at the same time, you can't help but wonder how they went from babies to pre-kindergarten age overnight.