Friday, November 12, 2010

Thankful Tidbits: Day of Fun - 11-12

When my girls get a day off of school, I enjoy having those days to utilize lazy mornings for myself to get things accomplished. I don’t have to get anyone anywhere at any time. It is amazing how much more I get done on those types of days. Needless to say, I am not one of those moms who do a great job of scheduling fun (or even taking time out for fun).

Yesterday, my girls were off for Veteran’s Day. My mother-in-law asked if she could take the older two to the American Girl store in Chicago. Knowing Jaycie’s fears and lack of get-up-and-go (at 5-years-old, she still wants to be pushed in the stroller more often than her 2-year-old sister), my husband and I decided that I needed to go with. While the girls were over the top excited, I was having an inner battle with what needed to be accomplished around the house.

The girls dressed up for their special lunch reservations and made certain their dolls were fancy as well. Nikelle has the American Girl Doll, Felicity, and Jaycie has a Bitty Baby (American Girl’s way of assuring they hit every age target). Nikelle was kind enough to pick up all the toys off the family room floor before we left so my mind could be more in the moment and we were off to meet Grandma by 9:30 in the morning.

Jaycie was not looking forward to the train ride. She loses most of her senses with loud noises and train whistles were high on her list of concerns. While she latched on to me in the parking lot, she was at peace with the quiet once we were inside the train car. (She did ride with holding my hand or touching me the entire commute to Chicago.) Nikelle had been on the train with Grandma once before so she was prepared and excited to experience the ride in the seats upstairs. Once we reached Union Station, it was back to being unreasonable to my explanations as I informed Jaycie there were “no worries” and picked her up until we were away from the loud noises of the trains.

We stopped at their Auntie Rhonda’s office to say hello and then caught the bus over to Water Tower Place. Jaycie commented that she liked the bus ride much better because there were no loud whistles. Nikelle was certain to follow Daddy’s rules and stay close by to Grandma and Mommy the whole way. Once we reached the Café, we were escorted to our table and the girls were given special chairs that attached to the table for their dolls. We were given mini cinnamon rolls and drinks to start our experience and their dolls were given special cups and saucers for the event. We enjoyed appetizers, main courses of pizza for Nikelle and chicken tenders with soup and a fruit kabob for Jaycie, followed up with bitty cakes, cookies and chocolate mousse for dessert.

It was so fun to watch the girls take care of their dolls and take on a “grown-up” roll. It really was like going to tea. My heart swelled with gratitude that I was able to be a part of the experience. We were off to browse the store after lunch only having to stop once or twice to explain to Jaycie why we were not purchasing another Bitty Baby or other expensive items during our visit. The girls were really well behaved which only added to the experience.

Noticing time had gotten away from us, we had to catch a taxi rather than the bus to get back to the train on time. Running through Union Station as I carried Jaycie was not as easy as it was when she was little. We got on the train shortly before it left the station and headed home this time on the main part of the train in seats facing one another. (Thanks to a kind gentleman who volunteered to switch seats so the girls could ride together once he saw Nikelle’s face and heard her disappointment on not being with her sister.)

The girls entertained themselves by browing the American Girl catalog and drawing as we traveled home. After a few stops along the way, my little 5-year-old mute surprised me by turning around on the train, standing up and shouting, "Why are we stopping here?" "Why are we stopping here?" Two men, obviously amused by her, looked over and smiled (I'm certain others were looking, too, but I didn't look around to observe.) I laughed as I told her to sit down and be quiet. I think it was a sign that my daughters truly enjoyed their day.

We didn’t return home until close to 5:00 p.m. It was a long day filled with fun that I am grateful their grandma planned. I am also grateful that I was able to share in the memory. It should really remind me that there is importance in taking time out for fun.

I just finished reading this post at MomLife Today. It was another good reminder that I need to take more time out for fun.

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