Tag Archives: Sandbox List Adventure

Sandbox List Adventures 31: Never Give Up on Your Kings

3 Jan

I don’t know how it happened but it did.

I dropped the ball on this one.

We’ve been checking things off our list the last couple of months but for some reason I forgot to share … probably weak from all those sleepless nights hopped up on 5-Hour Energy and the will of Jack Bauer pushing me to finish a writing project.

That sort of writing marathon tends to slow you down a bit and you forget to share some cool adventures in the process. I realized we’ve had couple of Sandbox List Adventures since our epic hike to the Batcave and I have yet to post them. But I thought I’d mention this epic experience as it became both a lesson and an adventure rolled up into one, for both my kids.

And the best part?

The lesson and adventure came through sports.

As you all know I’m a Kings fan, always have been since the days of Wayne Gretsky and Luc Robitaille, and I’ve always shared the love for this game with my kids as we cheer them on from the comfort of our couch.

However, even though television is an amazing technological advancement the in-person experience tends to be better, at least with sports. You got the crowd, the vibe, the excitement of seeing players, the game, the organ lady, the team merchandise, the mascot, and the high-fiving with complete strangers when the moment is so spectacular that you bond.

That is sports.

It’s a great thing to experience in person at least once in your life.

And seeing how we had family here from out of town it all seemed to come together.

My kids were going to chant Go Kings Go!

And cheer with intensity and excitement after seeing their first goal.

It would be great. And it was … until it happened.

In the second period.

It seems that The Kings began to trail, and I could see the worry on the face of my kids, my son more so. I could see the doubt and then the sadness begin to creep in. Toward the end of the third period they were trailing  3-6. People started getting up out of their seats and leaving.

“I think The Kings are going to lose,” he said.

“Oh you never know. You gotta wait until the end. Always wait until the end.” I said.

As the two-minute mark hit it happened.

GOAL!

It was 4-6.

The clock kept ticking … and then again.

GOAL!

It was 5-6.

The crowd was going crazy, everyone was screaming and jumping. And you can only imagine what I was looking like.

Hope was in the air, and my son was breathing it in.

Then with less than 30 second left …

GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAL!

The place exploded.

I looked over to my son.

“Never give up, never give up.”

He high-fived me and we cheered with the rest of the fans as we headed into overtime.

In the end The Kings lost 6-7, and the cheers deflated, but that wild comeback was amazing and it was something I hope my son and daughter never forget. He witnessed a Clear Eyes, Full Hearts moment in those last two minutes and it was definitely a Sandbox List Adventure I’d like both of them to remember.

 

 

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Sandbox Adventure List 30: The Batcave and Peanut Allergies

29 Sep

Dude … I can’t even.

The fact that I had enough energy to venture off to a Sandbox List Adventure Saturday morning amazes me.

This volunteering business is exhausting, so much so that I didn’t have the energy to log on to write or read anything after Taco Tuesday last week.

Volunteering … I get it … Get involved in your kids lives and be a part of the educational experience. It only happens once right?

Right.

Yeah … But going to seven stores in two hours, I think I deserve a medal or a chocolate trophy. Could it even be possible to go to seven stores in two hours?

Yeah.

It is.

And who or what do I blame for this journey?

Peanut allergies.

Dude I get that some kids can smell a peanut within a five-mile radius and that Epipen needs to come out. But here’s the thing … there are no kids with peanut allergies at my daughter’s school but they still use sunflower seed butter for snack time.

Are you aware that none of the major groceries stores within a 10-block of the school carry this sunflower butter?

No. No they don’t.

So after my trips to IKEA, Costco, Smart & Final Wholesale, VONS, Ralph’s, and Target for various errands I finally made it to Trader Joe’s Grocery Store.

I bought five jars.

There’s no point in going through that again. I might not make it to the weekend if I have to go through another shopping marathon. I’m one of the few females on Earth that hates shopping. It’s just not for me and I find it amusing that I was volunteered for this task.

But I survived and made it to weekend.

I made it just in time to visit the secret headquarters of the caped crusader … The Batcave.

And my son was thankful.

 

This adventure was inspired by the original 1960s  television series ... something we watch every Saturday courtesy of TV Land.

This adventure was inspired by the original 1960s television series … something we watch every Saturday courtesy of TV Land.

 

When I realized that the hiking trail to the Batcave was in Southern California, you know the Guats had to make a trip. My son has always been a fan.

When I realized that the hiking trail to the Batcave was in Southern California, you know the Guats had to make a trip. My son has always been a fan.

 

The beginning.

So the hike to the Batcave began.

 

We made it to the top and my son decided to get into Superhero mode, with his mask. His sister joined in by turning into the Flash. We headed in to explore.

We made it to the top and my son decided to get into Superhero mode, with his mask. His sister joined in by turning into the Flash. We headed in to explore.

 

We made it! High fives all around ... but then a look of concern on his face. Where's the Batcomputer? Dude.

We made it! High fives all around … but then there was a look of concern on his face. Where’s the Batcomputer? Dude. He so wanted to see it, but I had to explain that superheroes put that away because not all visitors are awesome like us … some steal stuff. So despite not being able to play with the Batcomputer it was still a good adventure for the kids.

 

The Power of Duct Tape Makes Our Bucket List Adventure Come True

25 Aug

It all started over 35 years ago … on a Saturday morning when I woke up at the crack of dawn and witnessed the awesomeness of Hanna Barbera’s Wacky Races.

 

Where it all began ...

Where it all began …

 

 

I thought … I want to do that one day. I want to build something wacky and enter a race. I want to have some cartoon fun.

And then it happened … this weekend another Bucket List Adventure began only this time I had a navigator and he was fulfilling his Sandbox List Adventure and together we were doing our best not to sink.

I had to put my MacGyver skills to the test on this one…

Six cardboard boxes.

Five rolls of silver duct tape.

Two rolls of white duct tape.

One small can of gray paint.

One small can of blue paint.

And endless trips to the hardware store.

In the end, with a little help from my Disney-Junior-watching crew, we created our own Wacky Race vehicle and my son decided it had to be the Millennium Falcon.

 

The Millennium Falcon, complete with Han Solo, Chewy, Obi-Wan, and Luke Skywalker watching our back, and R2-D2 in the cockpit.

Ahhhhhhh the power of duct tape made The Millennium Falcon possible. It came complete with Han Solo, Chewy, Obi-Wan, and Luke Skywalker watching our back, and R2-D2 in the cockpit.

 

We had to make sure we had engines ... my son wanted the Hyper-Drive working.

We had to make sure we had engines … my son wanted the Hyper-Drive working.

 

My young Jedi Knight disguised as some new rebel getting ready for the race.

My young Jedi Knight disguised as some new rebel getting ready for the race.

 

While we waited for the races to start, we thought we'd check out the rest of the boats. This one was called The Floating Stones.

While we waited for the races to start, we thought we’d check out the rest of the boats. This one was called The Floating Stones.

 

The Pirate Ship, who happened to win for best theme.

The Pirate Ship, who happened to win for best theme.

 

The Shark Boat, which won both of its races.

The Shark Boat, which won both of its races.

 

The KISS boat, complete with little rock stars.

The KISS boat, complete with little rock stars, who never gave up during the race. Even when their boat flipped over they managed to swim to the finish line and win their heat.

 

This was my daughter's favorite boat, the Sweet Treats, complete with an ice cream sundae, all made out of cardboard.

This was my daughter’s favorite boat, the Sweet Treats, complete with an ice cream sundae, all made out of cardboard.

 

This Frozen Ice Castle was voted most likely to sink ... and it didn't let us down.

This Frozen Ice Castle was voted most likely to sink … and it didn’t let us down.

 

And finally this was the People's Choice Award winner, it was also pretty fast in the water.

And finally this was the People’s Choice Award winner, it was also pretty fast in the water.

 

After all the oohing and ahhhhing we all headed down for the Wacky Races to begin

After all the oooohhing and ahhhhing we all headed down for the Wacky Races to begin.

 

As we loaded our boats I remembered ... we paid so much attention to building the boat, I forgot to show my son how to row the boat. So we had a quick two-minute lesson.

As we loaded our boats I remembered … we paid so much attention to building the boat, I forgot to show my son how to row the boat. So we had a quick two-minute lesson. Unfortunately we needed more than just two minutes, as we lost the first race. But we bounced back and won the second one and he was happier about that finish.

 

In the end we didn't sink, but there were plenty of other boats that didn't quite make it, and in truth that was one of the funnest parts of the race.

In the end we didn’t sink, but there were plenty of other boats that didn’t quite make it, and in truth that was one of the funnest parts of the race.

 

We might not have won our division, or a prize for the best looking Star Wars Ship Cruiser, but we still had a great time at the cardboard yacht regatta. I was happy to see my son so excited, practicing his light saber skills while all the people passed by and complimented us on the boat. I smiled at the fact that someone said “May The Force Be With You.” I cracked up that we had spun out of control and began cruising backwards for a couple of meters during the race. I was ecstatic that we didn’t sink. And I was thankful for “The Power of Duct Tape”.

As far as parenthood goes, this was definitely an awesome adventure. I had checked something off my Bucket List and so had my son and daughter. It was a Guatacular event. And the best part wasn’t our unsinkable ship, but the smile on my kid’s face as he high-fived me and the jumping and cheering coming from my daughter during the race.

 

 

 

 

Feeling Like Rainbow Brite … But A Badass Rainbow Brite

23 Jun

Every time I check one off the list, I feel grateful for the Kodak moments that didn’t kill me.

You see no one ever tells you that when planning a Bucket List Adventure or a Sandbox List Adventure sometimes the stress of the entire mission leads to moments of anxiety, fatigue and eventually gray hair. But in the end the awesomeness of it all outweighs the little setbacks you encountered along the way.

And this is what happened … the crankiness of being woken up at the crack of dawn, the traffic along the way, the crowds at the parking lot, and the delays of the starting line all melted away when they heard the music and our New Balance shoes started moving. This weekend The Guats took on The Happiest 5K on the planet … The Color Run.

 

 

We picked up our gear early and ready to let our awesome out ... even got stickers for my Little Guats.

We picked up our gear early and were ready to let our awesome out … even got stickers for my Little Guats.

 

The only race that I know where the warm up is a Zumba Fest with prizes.

Once we got there we began warming up  … The Color Run is the only race I know where the warm up is a Zumba Fest with prizes.

 

The Little Guat decided to join the warm-up festivities and was a hit with the crowd. She definitely had the music in her.

The Little Guat decided to join the warm-up festivities and was a hit with the crowd. She definitely had the music in her.

 

They decided to jam a little in order to get pumped up for the race.

The warm-up was followed up with a jam session. They wanted to get pumped up for the race.

 

The countdown begins ...

And then the countdown began …

 

BOOM! They saw the sign and the adrenaline pushed them up the hill. They completely forgot about the incline as soon as they saw colors.

BOOM! They saw the sign and the adrenaline pushed them up the hill. They completely forgot about the incline as soon as they saw colors.

 

Ready to get splashed ...

Ready to get splashed …

 

Once we were soaked in blue, my son got the hang of it and decided to lead the way through all the colors. His sister didn't seem to need the stroller any more.

Once we were soaked in blue, my son got the hang of it and decided to lead the way through all the colors. His sister didn’t seem to need the stroller any more.

 

Feeling pretty good after our final color splash and ready to hit the finish line.

In the end, yellow was our last stop and the kids felt proud to be covered with all the colors of the rainbow.

 

When we finally crossed the finish line my kids were ecstatic about the confetti ... and all the high-fives they were getting.

We finally crossed the finish line and my kids were ecstatic about the confetti … and all the high-fives they were getting.

 

My son showing off his colors at the end.

My son showing off his victory colors at the end.

 

Hanging out at the end of the race and getting our paint packets ready for the celebration.

My daughter couldn’t get enough color. Here she is getting her paint packets ready for the finish line celebration.

 

This was one of their favorite parts of the race.

This was one of their favorite parts of the race.  In the end I felt like Rainbow Brite … but a badass Rainbow Brite … the kind who was able to check off a Bucket List Adventure with her family and celebrate it in Guat style.

 

 

 

Sandbox List Adventure 28: The LEGO Weekend …

24 Mar

I’m not gonna say I’m a pro at these things, but I’ve learned my lessons. I’ve got the lonely gray hairs to prove it.

They’re like badges of honor.

You wear them proudly because not only did you survive this Parent Boot Camp experience you actually learned to have fun throughout The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. You know what it takes to get through a twelve-hour adventure with your kids and you pack plenty of chocolate just to make sure that you do.

Yeah … that’s right people. I made the trip to the LEGO Mecca of the world and survived. And once again I left my crazy at the door and this ensured a stress-free occasion even though there were plenty of pitfalls trying to bait me.

But what made this particular adventure a little different was that we didn’t have to drive back home the same night. This proved to be an awesome decision. I find that sitting in traffic, for close to three hours surrounded by stupid or careless drivers, tends to create pockets of anger within my Zen Zone. So in hopes of avoiding any George Costanza blowouts I thought I’d add a little something extra to our Guat getaway. I’d add a Sandbox List Adventure Item … a stay at the LEGOLAND Resort Hotel.

Dude.

Dude.

If my son was capable of doing a backward flip cartwheel, he totally would have … but seeing how his acrobatic skills were limited the high-pitched yes and high-five were pretty  good too.

 

This was their theme song the entire day

This was their theme song the entire day …

 

 

Yeah ... this is where awesome happens.

Yeah … this was where awesome started.

 

No time to waste ... went straight for the rides  and waiting for their turn.

No time to waste … went straight for the rides and waiting for their turn.

 

After a few mini roller coasters and boat rides we headed into the LEGO Movie exhibit. Definitely one of the coolest things I've seen.

After a few mini roller coasters and boat rides we headed into the LEGO Movie exhibit. Definitely one of the coolest things I’ve seen. Made me wish I was a Master Builder.

 

So we headed to the workshop and tried ... we were no Master Builders, but we managed to create something worthy of a ribbon.

So we headed to the workshop and tried … we were no Master Builders, but we managed to create something worthy of a ribbon.

 

After being creative, we decided we had a need for speed. And so they got their licenses.

After being creative, we decided we had a need for speed, so they got their licenses.

 

Then we headed to one of our favorite parts of the park -- The Land of Adventure -- and tested our pilot skills.

Then we headed to one of our favorite parts of the park — The Land of Adventure — and tested our pilot skills in the mini airplanes with Ms. Earhart watching.

 

After all that excitement I thought I'd add some more to the mix and I surprised the kids with a stay at the hotel. Something that would not have been possible without the coupons and discounts a friend was able to give me.

After all that excitement I thought I’d add some more to the mix and I surprised the kids with a stay at the hotel. Something that would not have been possible without the coupons and discounts a friend was able to give me.

 

I found the LEGO pit in the lobby to be an awesome waiting experience for the kids while I was checking us in.

I found the LEGO pit in the lobby to be an awesome waiting experience for the kids while I was checking us in.

 

The LEGO artwork behind the reception desk was even cooler.

The LEGO artwork behind the reception desk was even cooler.

 

Before heading up we decided to eat dinner at the restaurant, which incidentally was pretty tasty. I was worry about buffets if they are not in Vegas, but this one ... this one was definitely tasty.

Before heading up we decided to eat dinner at the restaurant. And in truth, I worry about buffets if they are not in Vegas, but this one … this one was both adult and kid friendly. It was also definitely tasty. I had seconds and thirds … and then dessert … it was a long day.

 

Once we finished checking in, we headed to the elevators where Disco LEGO guy awaited us with the sweet sounds of the 70s and 80s that made everybody in the elevator busta move ... flashing lights and disco ball seemed to help the mood. :)

Once we finished, we headed to the elevators where Disco LEGO guy awaited us with the sweet sounds of the 70s and 80s. This made everybody in the elevator busta move … the flashing lights and disco ball were very encouraging  🙂

 

We got to our room and we felt like we were part of The Clutch Powers entourage (The Indiana Jones of the LEGO World). But as awesome as the room was nothing was more amazing than the bunk beds for my son. He'd always wanted to sleep in one. So I was able to cross off two Sandbox List items that day.

We got to our room and we felt like we were part of The Clutch Powers entourage (The Indiana Jones of the LEGO World). But as awesome as the room was nothing was more amazing than the bunk beds for my son. He’d always wanted to sleep in one. So I was able to cross off two Sandbox List items that day. I gave myself I high-five for that one.

 

 

 

 

 

Sandbox Adventure List 20: The Diamond

2 Oct

He’d seen it a couple of times before. He’d seen the field, the chalk lines, the bases, the uniforms, and the players.

But he never played, not until now.

He’d played golf, soccer, and tennis. He’d been excited about all of them, but baseball was a different kind of excitement. It was The Sandlot kind and it was contagious. And even though I had been unknowingly drafted into being the Team Mom, I was still excited about the whole experience. I was excited to see him in uniform and to witness his first at bat.

Little League … it brings all kinds of excitement.

But I can tell you, I wasn’t excited about the parents. I don’t think most people are excited about the parents. It’s something very common, that peopled don’t talk about. We tend to keep it to ourselves, but it still exists.  In fact I’m one of those parents that doesn’t really like other parents. I mean just because you have a kid the same age as mine doesn’t mean we’re friends, and in truth I’m not into the fake talk. I’m not much for exchanging birthing stories with random people. You kind of have to grow on me. If you give me a good vibe, we’ll chat it up. If you seem like the Mommy-Me-Mafia type camouflaged in baseball clothing I’ll probably keep my distance. Surprisingly there weren’t too many unlikable parents on my son’s team, which was a relief. Don’t get me wrong there were plenty out there, luckily none belonged to my son’s team.

But all that didn’t matter, because when my son stood out on that baseball diamond, I forgot about everyone else and cheered him on. I was proud of his hustle. He makes for a good shortstop, although he’s not too fond of the pop fly. Nobody on his team seems to be, but that’s O.K. I love those Bad News Bears moments, that’s how they seemed to bond. And he seemed to enjoy playing on the team. So we’ll be sticking around for the rest of the season, making our weekly visits to the diamond. Parents beware.

 

Waiting in the dugout, waiting to hit their first homerun.

Waiting in the dugout, waiting to hit their first home run.

 

It was a little overcast in the beginning, but as the hits kept coming the sun came out. I was happy that my son was able to connect, even if the pitches were way up there. Kids often have a determination to smack that ball even if it's not in the strike zone.

It was a little overcast in the beginning, but as the hits kept coming the sun came out. I was happy that my son was able to connect, even if the pitches were way up there. Kids often have a determination to smack that ball even if it’s not in the strike zone.

 

The sun came out as they took the field ... Baseball ready.

The sun came out as they took the field … Baseball ready.

 

One of the Bad News Bears moments, where everyone felt the need to help, but in the end my son was able to get the ball and make the play to first.

One of the Bad News Bears moments, where everyone felt the need to help, but in the end my son was able to get the ball and make the play to first.

 

Heading toward third and making his way home. He was pretty ecstatic that they didn't tag him. High-fives all around when he reached home plate.

Heading toward third and making his way home. He was pretty ecstatic that they didn’t tag him. High-fives all around when he reached home plate.

 

In the end it was a good Bucket List Adventure.

In the end it was a good bucket list adventure for both of us..

 

 

 

Sandbox Adventure List 17: The Big Splash

16 Aug

It was five feet away from her. Five feet … and all she could do was sit there and look. Just sit there and look. Four days a week for the past six weeks, strapped in the stroller without being able to get out. She could see it. She could see it! But all she could do was imagine how it would feel. Just imagine.

But today … today was the day imagination crossed over and Sandbox List Adventures came true.

All summer long her brother has been splashing around, practicing his backstroke, his freestyle form, his starfish float, Superman float, and all other type of floats, while his sister watched. She pretended to be swimming too, mimicking his moves without ever touching water.

But today … today I stood in line for half an hour to get wristbands for entrance into the pool. And you know how I feel about community pools, don’t you?  I’m into hygiene. The whole urine being attacked by chlorinated water really seems to bother me. I mean how powerful is chlorine really? How fast can it get to other people’s urine before it can get to me? The whole reasoning behind this kind of chemistry concerns me. I’m a writer, so I’m not aware of the answers. But I took a chance that everyone needing to be wearing Huggies Little Swimmers diapers would be wearing them and that everyone used the toilet before jumping into the shallow end.

And so with this brave mindset, today was the day my daughter got a chance to jump in the Olympic-sized pool during recreational swim time  … A.K.A. Rec Swim. But better yet, today was the day we bought the purple wristbands for special entry into the kiddie pool. Today was the day she got to experience the water slides, sprinklers, and other awesome water splashing devices she’s been staring at for the entire summer. Today was the time for The Big Splash toddler style.

 

A smile lit up her face as we pulled up to the familiar place during a not so familiar time.

A smile lit up her face as we pulled up to the familiar place during a not so familiar time. Her brother couldn’t wait and took off running, she of course followed.

 

Passing by the "bigger pool" we would eventually jump into towards the end of our little adventure. But first thing was first ... Kiddie pool

We passed by the bigger pool we would eventually jump into towards the end of our little adventure. But first thing was first … Kiddie pool.

 

Ahhhhh. The Kiddie Pool. It was amazing to see the laughter and giddiness coming through as we approached the area. My son wanted to demonstrate his sliding abilities first so that his sister could watch and learn.

Ahhhhh. The Kiddie Pool. It was amazing to see the laughter and giddiness coming through as we approached the area. My son wanted to demonstrate his sliding abilities first so that his sister could watch and learn.

 

She watched for about a second before she decided she more of doer than a watcher.

She watched for about a second before she decided she was more of doer than a watcher.

 

She bravely made her way through the sprinklers, water spinners, and other Coppertone babies. She reached the top  and swooshed her way down to the best splash of the summer. It was so good she decided to make

She bravely made her way through the sprinklers, water spinners, and other Coppertone babies. She reached the top and swooshed her way down to the best splash of the summer. It was so good she decided to make it happen again and again and again for the next thirty-eight minutes. She took a sprinkler break and then returned to the slide again.

 

Considering all the kids and the potentially hazardous bodily fluids trying to survive in the chlorinated water I’d say I did a good job of taking one for the team. taking one for The Big Splash. And during the process I even satisfied one of my own summer wishes by going down the giant green slide. Granted doing a backflip when I landed in the pool was accidental, it still looked pretty cool and I felt pretty adventurous during this Sandbox List Adventure.

Nothing like a big splash to help make you right. So after some time in the giant pool, we returned back to the kiddie area so that my kids could continue their big splash moments. We left with pruny toes, pruny fingers, red eyes, and ashy skin, but we’d never felt better. The Guats and The Big Splash were a good combination that day.

 

Sandbox List Adventure 12: My Little Aquaman

14 Jun

“Opens June 2013”

“Is it June, yet?”

“No.”

“Is it June, yet?”

“No.”

“Is it June, yet?”

“Yes, but it doesn’t open for a couple of days.”

“Is it a couple of days yet?”

“No.”

“Is it a couple of days yet?”

“YES! YES! It’s been a couple of days, and today is the day. Today.”

It was a year-long countdown for this Sandbox List Adventure to begin and it finally arrived this week. Construction complete, bulldozers no where in sight, and water slides included. My only concern was the fact that we signed up for the A.M. session. As you all know I’m not the greatest morning person on Earth. But this week waking up early didn’t bother me. I woke up with purpose, with excitement. I woke happy to check something off my son’s Sandbox List. He was pretty ecstatic, too, so much so that he didn’t need to watch The Sprout Channel, PBS, or Disney Jr. I didn’t even need to give him the customary multiple reminders to brush his teeth and get dressed. I spoke once and it was done. Magic.

I guess swim trunks do that for you.

Although his sister was not that thrilled, considering she couldn’t participate in this particular adventure she could care less how fast her brother got dressed. She was still wild, running around in her pajamas and throwing Kix everywhere.

But after all the morning routine craziness, I piled them in the car and off we went … to my son’s first swimming lesson at the newly constructed pool down the street. I was really happy to see him having a great time splashing around in the pool. I’m sure he’s going to do well in his Tiny Tots Triathlon. He’s been to swim school every day this week and seems to be getting more confident in the water. I think the SpiderMan goggles definitely help.

All the kids were at the same level, so it didn’t really matter that he was younger. All that mattered was that they all splashed the same way. I was pretty proud of him for not freaking out and containing his excitement long enough to listen to the swim coach. So when the first lesson was done I asked:

“So, how was it?”

“It was great, mom! Great! But next time I need Aquaman powers, instead of SpiderMan powers. They’ll make me swim better.”

 

Meeting his swim coaches and awaiting eagerly to dive in.

Meeting his swim coaches and awaiting eagerly to dive in.

 

Working on his kick.

Working on his kick, although he needs to work on staying completely in the pool while doing so.

 

Working on his diving formation.

Working on his underwater Aquaman formation. 

 

The Big Test ... floating. Everyone needed a little assistance on that one.

The Big Test … floating. Everyone needed a little assistance on that one. Even my little Aquaman.

 

 

 

 

 

Sandbox List Adventure 10: The Tastiest Ten Minutes of the Day

25 Apr

I don’t know if every kid dreams about it, but I know they think about it. I used to think about it a lot, when I was five, six, seven … all the way to 37. Yup. To this day I think about it, and it makes me smile. However my dentist says it’s my weakness and charges me an obscene amount of money to fix my cavities. He says I may have to give it up. I say they need to work harder on inventing better toothpaste because there’s no way I’m giving it up. It’s like air. A necessity.

Milk. Cream. Sugar. Those are the basic ingredients.  I’ve had them on their own multiple times, but they are definitely best when they are churned together and frozen, sealed tight in a container … just waiting for me on aisle 7 of the supermarket. Dude. That’s the best. Ben & Jerry’s. They are geniuses … geniuses I tell you! My kids are aware of this phenomenon and always look forward to birthday parties because ice cream is usually one of the side dishes. And even though I get to have some secretly once or twice a week, it’s something that my kids may get once a month. You know, I’m trying to develop healthy eaters.

So when we were driving home from the book festival this weekend and I asked my son what he wanted for dinner I was surprised by his answer, but even more surprised by my own.

“What do you want for dinner?” I asked as a red light stopped us in front of a 31 Flavors.

“Ice cream.”

“Ice cream? You can’t have ice cream for dinner.”

“Why not?”

“It’s not good for you. It’s only supposed to be a treat once in a while, and usually after your meal.”

“I have not had ice cream in a long, long, long while and I already had my snack.”

“You haven’t had dinner.”

“Ice cream can be dinner.”

I paused, thinking about my college days.

“So can we have ice cream for dinner?”

I thought about his Sandbox List Adventures and nodded.

“Yeah, I guess you can. Just for today.”

Dude. The woo-hoo was like a SuperBowl touchdown with two seconds to go in overtime kind of woo-hoo. It was a pretty big one. So I turned the corner and drove the car into the 31 Flavors parking lot to begin our Sandbox List Adventure.

 

We arrived and the seatbelts couldn't be taken off fast enough.

We arrived and the seatbelts couldn’t be taken off fast enough.

 

There were many options to choose from and I was sure he was going to fancy it up.

There were many options to choose from and I was sure he was going to fancy it up. I know I was thinking about it.

 

When he saw these I thought ... dude it's on. He's most definitely going to ask for one of these.

When he saw these I thought … dude it’s on. He’s most definitely going to ask for one of these.

 

And while he was contemplating his cone purchase I was contemplating a cake purchase. Oreo cookies make for a great cake accessory.

And while he was contemplating his cone purchase I was contemplating a cake purchase. Oreo cookies make for a great cake accessory.

 

But before he decided we did a little taste testing.

But before he decided, we did a little taste testing.

 

With all the available choices he decided on a cup. Chocolate chip with chocolate sprinkles. Dude. He definitely takes after me.

And it was funny, with all the available choices, he decided on a cup. Chocolate chip with chocolate sprinkles. Dude. He definitely takes after me.

 

His sister didn't really have a choice, but was definitely enjoying the Cookies N' Cream.

His sister didn’t really have a choice, but was definitely enjoying the Cookies N’ Cream.

 

It was the fastest dinner they have ever eaten. There was no fighting. No spoon dropping. No reminders to finish eating. Just concentration and focus, in addition to a lot of smiles and spoons dancing around in creamy cool deliciousness. In fact I had to tell them to slow down. I didn’t want to deal with their first brain freeze. I told them they had to eat slowly and enjoy it. The adventure lasted about ten minutes, but it was the tastiest ten minutes they had all day.

 

 

Sandbox Adventure List IX: I’m Glad I Didn’t Push The Snooze Button This Time

19 Mar

Just because I’m awake at the crack of dawn doesn’t mean I like it. I know some parents might think that waking up before 7 a.m. is awesome. But I fall under the category of snooze-button advocate.

When my son has a day off from preschool I really don’t feel the need to get up and go. I’m all for the “give me five more minutes” routine, which eventually turns into an hour of PBS Kids, The Sprout Channel, or Nickelodeon.

Don’t judge me.

But this weekend, the morning routine was a little different. And I have to say that the blame wasn’t on Curious George this time. It happened to be children’s author Laura Numeroff and her partner in crime Felicia Bond.  After reading If You Give a Pig Party and a few others from that series he decided that some of those adventures were pretty cool. I mean he always thought they were cool. We’ve read them hundreds of times, so I don’t know what it is that sparked the inspiration, but the fuse was lit.

What adventure? What specials tools or props on this one?  Pillows. This one happened to involve pillows.

Now normally I only use pillows to rest my weary head, or bury my head in an attempt for deep uninterrupted sleep. But my son thought differently. At 7:03 on Sunday morning … he thought differently.

I didn’t see it flying high above the bed, and I sure didn’t hear it, but I felt it. Smack! The red Angry Bird pillow happened to hit my face. Normally pillows are soft in nature, but when they’re thrown at you at 7:03 in the morning? Not so much. I think they’re made of hard cotton, or something. Waking me at this hour in that manner would usually get the Incredible Hulk in me all riled up. But as I looked up I saw both of them with their morning hair and sneaky smiles.

Then I heard it … PILLOW FIGHT!

 

My son heading for cover.

My son heading for cover.

 

Dude it was on.  For the next twenty minutes pillows of all sizes were flying high. As you all know I’m not the greatest morning person, but I made the exception that day. Groggy, tired, and exhausted. But I cowboy-ed up and went with the flow. Going with the flow … it’s something that I’ve been constantly reminded of during my recent meditation challenge. It was the first time I hadn’t hit the snooze button … it proved to be a good decision.

 

Little sister surveying the situation, trying to grab the Angry Bird pillow before her brother.

Little sister surveying the situation, trying to grab the Angry Bird pillow before her brother.

 

I tackled the Angry Bird pillows and flung them over. Sometimes his little Flintstone Vitamin body would withstand the blow, but other times he’d wobble and fall into the covers, only to be bombarded with more pillows and victory screams from his sister. It was one of the loudest and most fun mornings we’ve had. I couldn’t believe we hadn’t done this before, definitely a good addition to the Sandbox Adventure List. I’m glad I didn’t push the snooze button this time. I would’ve missed out.