I wrote this a couple weeks ago but failed to post. Here it is - the kids' much anticipated trip to Build-a-Bear. They are still talking about it and still carrying their bears around.
The kids have been saving for the past 5 weeks for a trip to Build-a-Bear in our local mall. They have actually been wanting to go for a lot longer but until recently I had always said, "Maybe sometime." Well, we decided that if we all survived July (as I had several 4 day work weeks which are hard on all of us) then we could earn a trip. During the summer months I have been picking up extra work days while some of the other health care providers in our office take vacation. I have opted out of vacation this year and am saving all my time for maternity leave. It's made for some long weeks and actually in August I have all three day work weeks, but we would rather save ahead of time for my leave.
The kids have been great. We assigned monetary value to the stickers for various things. They would earn $1, $4, or $5 toward their bears. Then when it came time to pick out their items, they could spent their earnings. Each of them earned well over $50 toward their bears. Their efforts helping me jar pickles may have earned them a few extra stickers, too. Attitude is a big deal when it comes to earning stickers in our home. Joyfully helping a sibling clean up toys earns a sticker but grumbling while doing so does not, even if one is helping one another. And let me tell you, those kiddos joyfully helped their mother jar pickles. I was complaining internally at the garlic peeling but my little daughter was so happy to help as was her big brother.
Hubby was also home with the kids for a few extra days as my mom suffered gout - extremely painful and in her right big toe joint. I did not want her watching the kids for fear they would touch her foot and give her more pain. I was sad that she was not well but it was nice for the kids to have a few extra days with their dad watching them. I especially liked that on the days he had them and I was working, he would bring them by the office during lunch to eat with me. It was so fun. Even the office staff would join us and got a kick out of their stories. My little guy T can tell quite the tale and entertain most anyone. He told of the upcoming trip to Build-a-Bear and had everyone in suspense as to what he was going to design. In fact, recently during lunch some of my staff asked if I could post photos on Facebook showing what they selected. Now, I feel kind of weird posting photos of my kids at Build-a-Bear on Facebook but since this is our family blog site, I am happy to post here.
We actually invited another family to join us. We've only recently gotten to know these friends. It's been a fast 7-8 months that we've been hanging out but it has been nice to connect with folks in a similar life stage, with similar values and educational background, similar parenting styles and philosophies, and kids that absolutely adore each other. T is so happy to have a friend with a peanut allergy and asthma. He finally can talk to a peer about his allergies and have that friend understand. They really are kindred spirits. I am not including photos of our friends but I did want to make note since the outing was made even more special because we could share it with them. When the kids woke up Saturday morning I was not sure what they were more excited about - Build-a-Bear or that we were meeting their friends there.
A few details about their bears. Both kids picked pretty basic bears - T's is a classic brown/black bear "like the Lego ones" in his book. He did not want anything fancy but wanted to use his money for two outfits rather than scents, songs, or a beating heart. He chose to name his bear "Peter" as in Peter from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Peter was given a knight outfit complete with sword and shield and the bonus light saber, too! His other outfit is Superman which he wears for pajamas like T's. Lil Sister chose a classic bear made with soft pink fur. She outfitted her with a Rapunzel dress, hair, crown, pink sparkle shoes, and a pink purse. She wanted a fancy outfit rather than two outfits. (Plus, I was so happy there were not talking or musical gadgets chosen for her either.) They spent all their stickers and were happy to do so. They are already asking to go back - not for more bears but for more outfits. I am thinking some stocking stuffers are in order!
I had to include this first photo of the kids with their back packs heading to the activity. They were so proud and so excited you can just see the spring in their steps.