Saturday, February 16, 2013

Time to Camp! living room!   Yes, its the middle of winter it's the only place to camp.   We started the tradition of when Loving Husband is away on a mission that the kids get to have a sleepover in our bed.  This time I decided to add a fun twist and I decided to camp in the living room.    I kept the kids downstairs while I set everything up - including starting a fire and making dinner.  

Why yes, I did get this idea from Pinterest!
They were pretty excited to see the surprise and Ace was even more excited to hear that the tent would be where we were enjoying our sleepover for the night!  We ate dinner and enjoyed the fire and after we finished Ace went and picked the movie, he chose E.T..   We broke out the popcorn and enjoyed tent life with a movie.

After E.T. we watched an episode of Rescue Bots and then they Ace easily settled into sleeping.  Mae was a bit more wound up and it took an extra 30 minutes of getting her to finally settle down and crash into a slumber.   Eventually they both were sleeping, the fire died down, and mommy watched a bit more tv on her computer with headphones on before crashing myself.

Everyone slept through the night and even Pixel did a good job throughout the evening (he certainly was a big help eating discarded popcorn that missed little mouths!)  As everyone settled into sleep so did he and did good to keep us company all night long.    It was an excellent sleepover!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Just Us - A Pet Store Scavenger Hunt

It's been a long time since Ace and I had regular 'just us' time.   As he's the first born - he and I had over two years of 'just us' time and then his sister came and he blossomed into the best big brother that any mommy could have hoped for.  He's a traditionalist in many ways - as he gets annoyed by her presence, "helping" and her volume level form time to time, but since the start he has been great.   Still his "just us" time is woefully lacking and sometimes it is pretty clear the toll that takes on him.

So Loving Husband and I set out to set aside some specific time to spend just with our boy to help him know that he is loved individually and just as much as before his sister's arrival.   The boys have gone on hikes together, gone on a ferris wheel together, and many out and about activities.   Ace and I have gone to coffee, to the movies, and the latest in our adventures a trip to the pet store for a scavenger hunt!   I found a great print out (and the idea!) over at Enjoying The Small Things and after I bundled up his sister for a walk with her dad - the boy and I were off!

He was quite excited to go as he loves the pet store.   He was a bit confused when I first pulled up to the pet store trying to establish if we needed food for Pixel, but was excited to know there was more to the stop than just a simple errand.  We got in the store and I handed him the clipboard and away he went!

I was surprised at how accurate the pictures were - yes granted we went to the same store as the sheet was designed from, but this was a print out from months earlier - you'd think some thing had changed or inventory would have changed a bit.  Granted many of the items are general things found in any pet store but the Dora fish tank item was still placed immediately next to the pineapple one as pictured.  Which is good because the boy was very insistent that it needed to be exact!

Ace had a great time looking at all the different animals and observing their behavior and what it was they were doing.  Including the differences of 'toys' that they had in their cages.   He really enjoyed talking to the ferrets too.  Thank goodness there was no "can we have one?" type questions.  Thankfully, I don't think he quite gets that it's an option (for others) to buy them. 
Most of the items were pretty easy to spot.  He asked for help only a few times and the final item was REALLY hard even for mom to find.  A picture of a barn.  I assumed it was on a bag of food... but it ended up being at the top of an end cap (pretty large actually... ah well!)
In the end we found everything that was on the list except an iguana (they didn't have one)  so Ace suggested that we find something that looked the closest to an iguana and count that as successful (his wording... not mine!)   And indeed it was a successful activity.   After we had spent a good hour in this store - we found a toy to take home to Pixel as I didn't want to just be loitering their store and asking them questions for no benefit to them at all.  :)  

We wrapped up our outing with a couple of errands where he got to help push the cart and pick some stuff out and then we grabbed lunch for the whole family and headed home to eat it together.  It was a good time spent, just us!

Monday, February 4, 2013

January in Photos

January was filled with lots of fun!  Mae had her second birthday, we had some fun themed baths, we had a family movie night themed for the movie Brave.  We blew up the pool and tossed in some blankets and all enjoyed a cozy spot to watch the movie, Pixel included!   Ace got a library card and I celebrated with some great friend a belated Christmas gift exchange which the flu derailed back in December.    It was overall a great month!

In case you missed December's recap (as I backdated it and snuck it in well after the fact)  here it is.