Build-A-Wookie and Amazeum Fun

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Friday Bart took a vacation day so we could all finally go to the new Scott Family Amazeum (no relation to me) in Bentonville.  While we were out, we also let Ladybug take her money to Build-A-Bear in order to build her very own Chewie, as she had decided earlier in the week.

Building Chewie
Since Ladybug's money was all in the form of quarters, Bart and I assumed we would pay for her Chewie and just keep her quarters.  However, after thinking it over and remembering how she paid for her Cracker Barrel rocker a couple of years ago, I decided to cash out her quarters, put the dollar amount in her purse along with a gift card we acquired for half price on her birthday, and a coupon that came with the mailer that set this all in motion.  I wanted her to hand over her own money to the cashier, to know that she had to exchange what she had been saving for her Chewie.  I wanted this expedition to be a teachable moment.  Whether or not it was, I may never really know.  I will say that she did show some prudence before we got there.  Since it was the first day they were to have the new Star Wars stuff, Bart asked Ladybug if she would buy something else if they didn't have a Chewbacca or save her money.  She assured him that should such a thing occur, she would save her money.  We were both impressed with her maturity.

Except for our visit to the BABW in Busch Stadium that resulted in our bringing home Cardinal, all of our visits to BABW have been for Ladybug's birthday, on weekdays in the iciness of winter.  Each time, we were the only ones in the store.  That wasn't so for a Friday in July.  It was super busy, which almost sent my large-crowd wary husband and daughter both running.  I'm laughing as I type this because they BABW's crowd was nothing compared to what would be at the Amazeum.  Anyway, L still wanted to buy her Chewie, so we waited for each and every kid in front of us, it seemed like a good fifteen in all, had their animals stuffed, given a heart, sounds, and you know how it goes there.

The bath tubs were occupied by teenagers I personally felt got much less enjoyment than my three-year-old would have, so we just searched for accessories.  Pictures showed Chewie with a crossbow, but Ladybug found a light saber that lights up and makes the sound and decided that Chewie must have some Jedi in him.  Then we let her do most of the typing on his birth certificate before she forked over her money without much fuss.

I was worried, because it seemed she didn't have as much fun as she had anticipated due to the crowd.  None of that mattered though.  She had her Chewie.  She introduced him to Cardinal in our car and has taken him everywhere with her since.  Friday night Lucy brought Ladybug her Chewie that she got for Christmas from Cousin Apache to show her they both have one, I kid you not.  Who would have ever thought that Wookies would be so popular in our house?

The Amazeum
We ate lunch, then headed over to the Amazeum.  We could tell as soon as we got to the parking lot that it was going to be busy.  I reminded Bart that it had only been open a matter of days, and that lots of people don't work on Friday afternoons.  The apprehension of all the people at BABW grew by about a hundred fold.

The good news is that Ladybug is a kid who likes to do things with her hands, so the Amazeum is just the place for her.  She loved making balls dance in the air, banging a wall of percussion instruments, painting and cleaning a window, pretending to milk a cow, picking pretend apples and eggs, and especially shopping at the replica self-serve Walmart.  Once she started doing things, the crowd didn't bother her a bit.  Bart, on the other hand, mentioned he wasn't too impressed with the place.  I asked him, "What would impress you then?"  Then he admitted it was pretty amazing, just the crown was a lot for him.  It was agreed upon that we will have to go again once school starts on a Thursday then.

I would suggest getting tickets to work in the Hershey's Lab.  We wanted to, but the line was far too long.  Actually, if you live anywhere near here, I would suggest buying a membership.  We waited to do so, because we wanted to make sure we would really use it.  I think that after watching Ladybug play "pretend Amazeum" over the weekend, we will use a family membership quite often, and I plan to buy one before we go again.

We capped off the evening by having dinner at one of Ladybug's favorite establishments, Cracker Barrel.  Even though it was so hot you could probably fry an egg on a sidewalk, we had a fun day together as a family.

In Which I'm Concerned About Doc McStuffins' Career Change

Thursday, July 23, 2015

— It has come to my attention that as a mom, I often have to pull rabbits out of a bag of tricks in order to get Ladybug to comply with me.  Case in point, a couple weeks ago I took Ladybug in to our local Pigtails and Crewcuts to trim her dead-ends.  While she was busy flying her airplane like the Red Baron, a mom and daughter came in with an interesting dilemma.  The daughter, who looked all of eight years old, had been at a sleep-away camp and had decided not to brush or comb her hair at all for the entire week.  I think they ended up having to cut her hair super-short it was so tangled.  We've also been reading a very abridged version of Anne of Green Gables, and she remembers very distinctly that Anne had to cut her hair off after accidentally dying in green.  I have since reminded Ladybug of this every day when she doesn't want her hair brushed.  She knows that her hair is very beautiful and doesn't want it cut off "like Anne of Green Gables."  Hey, I'll use whatever means necessary to get my stubborn child to comply.

—  I saw yesterday on Facebook where Doc McStuffins is going to shift her field of practice from toys and stuffed animals to pets.  I told Bart, and he was concerned she would be cutting up animals and encouraging kids to so.  I reminded him that Doc is a cartoon, and I don't think they're going to go all Dexter on a Disney Junior show.  I don't even think they'll go all Grey's Anatomy and do an exploratory surgery.  To further our delusional concern, let me say that I hope that Doc has at least completed a fellowship program at a reputable, teaching veterinary hospital.  You know, preferably more Seattle Grace than Mercy West.

It does not escape my notice that I'm so concerned about a cartoon Ladybug may or may not even watch.  Though she had a Doc McStuffins birthday party a year and a half ago, she almost always complains when Doc comes on TV these days.  I assume she feels it is beneath her.  She is more of a Sofia the First girl in the Disney Junior way of thinking.  That, and the ever present Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Oh, she'll play Doc McStuffins, but not often on her toys.  Why should she do that when she has a Mama and a Lucy and Dory dog to heal?  At any rate, it looks like Doc got some new clothes out of the change in specialty.

—The other morning I was in the mood for some of my favorite comfort food, a bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos.  Ladybug and I picked up a bag of assorted chips on our last Walmart run, and I should have listened to her when she mentioned fire being on the Doritos bags, because those were not regular Nacho Cheese Doritos, the were Spicy Nacho Cheese Doritos.  I found this out after eating several then welling up in tears because they were so hot.  I thought I was going to die.

I was born with a condition called "Geographic Tongue," a chronic condition with no real treatment because most of the time, it's not a problem.  Though I love the taste of really hot, spicy foods, I've learned to stay away from them due to the painful whelps they cause me.  It's sort of like how I love the taste of shrimp, crab, and any other assortment of shellfish but don't really care for the abdominal cramps or my throat closing up.  Anyway, Frito-Lay needs to do more to distinguish between the two types of Nacho Cheese Doritos with their packaging, because that was not a nice surprise.  The flames coming from the chips are not enough warning.  I'm thinking an alarm that screams, "Danger! Danger, Will Robinson!" would be more appropriate.

— We recently received a mailer from Build-a-Bear Workshop which Ladybug promptly took and obsessed over.  One side was geared toward girls with something all pink, purple, and glittery called the "Honey Girls."  The other side was geared toward boys with new Star Wars bears.  This just goes to show you that girls often not only dislike the pink-washed alternatives to things businesses think girls want, but that can outright hate them.  Ladybug loves Star Wars, not some version where Princess Leia wears a pink dress and tiara.  I wish toy companies would learn that girls neither need nor want to have a coat of pink paint slapped on something to love it.  Ladybug has already decided to take her own money to BABW tomorrow and purchase her very own Chewbacca, complete with sound.

—  The other morning I was told a very emphatic "I don't like you!" by Ladybug when I threatened to take away her little V-Tech camera she was playing with when I told her to go upstairs and put on her shoes.  I responded with a cool, "I can live with that."  I can live with her being mad at me, not liking me, and even sometimes not loving me as she says because,  1). I know that she doesn't really mean it, and 2). I'm her mom, not her best friend.  I like that we're buddies, but I'm her mom first.

—  I finished reading "The Astronaut Wives Club" this morning.  Now I'm looking for my next book to devour.  Any suggestions?  I've been thinking about reading "The Right Stuff," but frankly I like looking at the Mercury Seven and the other astronauts from the wives' eyes.

Hanging Crooked, Reading Books, and Doing Nothing

Sunday, July 19, 2015

— There is a rousing rendition of "Do Lord" being sung in the play room while I type this, because I finally added Ladybug's cd of VBS songs to her iPad this morning.  I am ecstatic that she loved VBS so much that she wants to hear the songs all of the time.  However as an adult, I can only hear those adrenaline-charged, repetitive songs maybe ten times a day... each before I need an Excedrin.

— I have finally gotten around to putting new pictures and frames up all through our house.  This endeavor has also included purchasing a new bulletin board and a new dry erase board for the kitchen.  It's the best time for those new items, because everything is stocked and at great prices for Back To School.  Anyway, after buying the stuff to replace the old, dingy stuff in the kitchen, I got a bug up my bonnet to hang them myself.  You see, I realized that I am 35 years old and have never really hung a picture up on my own in any of my homes. I don't think I've hung anything up since my Monet prints in my college dorm room.  I was really industrious and even learned how to use Bart's drill so I could do it right.  Once I was finished I realized something.  Do you know why I never hang pictures (or anything else)?  I don't see straight and even using a level, those two boards are as crooked as the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  This is of course driving Bart, the perfectionist, insane, and it won't be too long before he corrects my mishaps.

— As you know, I anticipated "Go Set a Watchman" for months, so I read it in a day.  That said, once I was finished reading it, I felt that void you do after you finish a book you really love.  Friday I decided to start reading "The Astronaut Wives Club:  A True Story" by Lily Koppel.  It's the book that inspired the TV series by the same name that Bart and I have been addicted to this summer.  I'm taking it a little slower with this book, but I really like learning about the women behind our first astronauts, the Mercury Seven.  Let me tell you, they put up with a lot more than most wives would these days.

— A huge part of me has felt that I should start back to writing rather than get stuck in another book for a while.  The thing is, it's not easy writing fiction and taking care of Ladybug.  She's going to be in preschool soon, so I hope to spend part of that time writing.  Then I can get lost in my character's lives until it's time to go wait in car line without feeling guilty for ignoring my child for my own imaginary friends.

— I took our "Week of Nothing" very seriously.  Ladybug and I left the house to buy groceries and that was about it.  It was the perfect week for this, since we're finally having a normal (meaning HOT!!!) summer.  We went to the mall Friday night with Bart to shop for school clothes for Ladybug.  I can hardly believe we're buying her school clothes, even for two-day-a-week-preschool.

—  I mentioned previously how nice Ladybug and I have had it for the past three and a half years, just taking life slowly.  I just want to go on the record by saying that I have loved it.  There's nowhere else I would have rather been.  I was listening to an old podcast of the Big Boo Cast by Big Mama and Boo Mama, and they were talking about how they purposefully don't schedule to be away from home as much as they could, because that's where their people are, and they don't want to miss anything.  That's how I feel about my time so far as a SAHM.

I remember a friend who had had a baby a little over a year after I had L asked me how I could stand to be home all the time.  I'll admit that the first six months to a year was hard, because little babies don't do much but need you.  Then you know what?  In between all the teething and the potty-training, it got really good.  Ladybug will probably phase out naps after starting preschool.  I'm going to miss our mid-day nap ritual where I read to her before her nap.  We've read everything from Green Eggs and Ham to The Secret Garden together this way.

I think of Ladybug's first steps, her first words, and all the goofball moments that have and will occur.  I never wanted someone else to text me pictures and videos of those moments, I wanted to experience them myself, and I did.  I may still be driving the same car we bought eight years ago, we may not take many vacations, but what I have been given is so much greater.  Ladybug has also benefitted too.  She has had this great life that hasn't been overly scheduled.  She's been able to just be a kid, playing on her own.  She even has an imaginary friend, AND she's very sociable with other kids.  I just can't imagine missing this.  I love spending my days with my smart, silly, sweet goofball.  It has been a most precious time, and I'm glad she's only going to be in school two days a week so far.

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