Monday, February 24, 2014

Sundays Are Fun Days

By now you already know we're not a religious family. This gives us a lot of free time on Sundays, because we obviously don't go to church. Even if we were religious, I doubt we'd go to church anyway, because my husband and I are also very much not social animals. We have no desire whatsoever to involve ourselves in "fellowship." We're perfectly content to stay at home and do nothing whatsoever. Besides, we've started our own traditions and so far our girls have no complaints.

Cinnamon Roll Sunday! We started this tradition before the girls were even born. After a while, we got tired of the usual bowl of cereal or eggs and toast. Heck, especially after the girls were born. I don't often cook eggs and toast anymore, because it's just too much work for me to bother with in the morning. I am not a morning person. At all.

More than half my lifetime ago, I used to babysit this kid named Egan. I think I may have mentioned him before. Maybe not here. I don't remember. But! I learned to cook cinnamon rolls while babysitting him ages and ages ago. He's probably 30 by now. I wasn't that much older than him. In any case, those fond memories of sharing cinnamon rolls for breakfast with him reminded me of how simple a "meal" that is to make. So now, with my own family, we've made it a Sunday morning tradition to bust open the Pillsbury packaging and bake up some cinnamon and cream cheese icing goodness.

That's only the morning, however. We don't spend the entire day eating cinnamon rolls, I promise you. Our Sundays are ever-changing. Sometimes we stay at home and lounge around, but most of the time, without even thinking about it, we leave the house to embark on some sort of adventure or another. More often than not we wind up at the library, because . . . books. We are nerds. We like books. A lot. I think The Usurper likes them more than the rest of us, though, because every single morning she brings me or her daddy a dozen books to read. It's quite maddening, really. Love her to pieces. Love her love of books to pieces too, but for the love of all that is sacred, child, give us a break sometimes!

"Please you will to read for me?"

This past Sunday we went to the mall, instead of the library. There are, actually, two malls nearby. The one we went to on Sunday is 100% better than the other one, however. We spent this past week trying them both out, and decided on Sunday that the Summit Mall is by far better than it used to be. To be honest, it used to be quite boring, but things have changed since then.

The first store that drew us in like two opposing magnets was an unexpected gem called Recess. This place is a nerdling's paradise. No lie. The very instant we crossed the threshold, both girls were struggling and straining to get out of their stroller seats so they could check things out. To my pleasant surprise, this is a very child friendly store. The clerk was very nice and informative, and had a super not creepy adoration for children, I could tell.

A large selection of the merchandise consisted of wooden toys. I love wooden toys. Apparently my girls do, too. I'm pretty sure these toys are imported from Germany, but I'm not 100% positive. The packaging is German. My friend Kate could probably tell me for sure, since she lives over there. Hi, Kate! The Usurper, though, was enjoying this display table with these toys very, very much. If they weren't so darned expensive, I would have bought all the things right then and there.

There was another display for a wooden marble track that Your Future Overlord was practically permanently attached to. It took a lot of coaxing to pull her away from playing. I was reminded very much of a toy my sister-in-law's kids had; a plastic marble track that was all the rage for a week or so at their house. This one that my eldest was playing with was wood, and it was awesome, and again if I had a couple hundred dollars to spare I would have bought it for her.

In addition to oodles of fun wooden toys for kids, such as doll houses and play kitchens, this place also had a plethora of board games for all ages. Things like Settlers of Catan, which is all the rage and we have yet to own, and Arkham Horror, for which there are a half dozen more expansions I need to add to my collection. This store also had all the core D&D 4.0 source books, and a wall of preconstructed dice sets that would put any normal hobby shop to shame. I hope this place is still around by the time I start training my girls to nerd it up with tabletop so I can take them there to pick out their own sets.

The most wonderful bit of merchandise this place had, however, were Goldie Blox box sets. And the clerk actually knew what they were! I was so ecstatic. It took every ounce of willpower in every single fiber of my being to walk out of this store without buying a single thing. Because I wanted it all. Everything. Board games, card games, wooden toys, and Goldie Blox!

The fact that Goldie Blox are designed for ages 4-8, I think, is what helped me resist buying the two sets currently available right then and there. Now you all know what to get Your Future Overlord for her 4th birthday, though. Don't disappoint me, Internet.

After escaping Recess, we resumed our casual stroll through the mall. We almost did not complete our circle before something amazing very nearly stole my eldest away from me. It drew her in like a waiting Venus Fly Trap. Sweet, sweet playtime was just around the bend. I seriously had to physically restrain her from running off. Note to self: have long talk with her about the dangers of strangers with candy.

Some time in the last several years since we've been to Summit Mall, somebody got the brilliant idea to install a little kids playground. I wish I had taken a picture of the logo. I really wish this is a permanent structure, because my girls loved it. Your Future Overlord cried when we told her it was time for a potty break, so we could go home. Her daddy actually had to go in after her, because there were so many children enjoying herself that she was in no way going to be able to hear either of us calling for her.

The Usurper and I spent most of our time hanging out at this toy plane. She even figured out how to climb up into it all by herself, and would not leave. A sweet little girl came over and asked me, "Um. Can we play in this when she's done?" I melted, and picked Amelia up to go investigate some of the other attractions in the pit so that some other kids could have a turn. She's one. She would have never been done if I had not carried her away.

The giant foam house with the slide was the biggest attraction for all the kids who could walk on their own. Lilah kept climbing over the walls, and she wasn't the only one. Her baby sister tried crawling into the house once, but most of the bigger kids kept running her over and she quit fast. One sweet little girl tried stealing her binky, too. I laughed. Amelia cried. The other girl's mother apologized. Kids don't know any better, though, so I wasn't mad.

On the back wall there's a giant piano mounted. You can see it in the background of the above picture. It's an actual, working keyboard. The keys don't press in, but they make piano noises when you touch them. I thought it was awesome. The Usurper was not very impressed. She was much more interested in getting back to the giant foam plane to sit in and hog all to herself, haha!

I hope this little pit playground stays around for a long time. All around the interior are benches for adults to lounge on while the kids go wild. On two sides there are indentations and outlets to recharge phones and tablets and eReaders galore. There is also a recycling can and trash can right there. So you can stop to plug in your electronics for a recharge while setting the restless monsters loose to play. I can't wait to go back, but next time I think we'll go on a week day when the mall's less crowded.

1 comment:

  1. I love the wooden doll houses they have at Recess, but yeah, I'm not spending that kind of money on one! When I worked on Sundays, Summit Mall was Matt & Addy's ritual. But he hardly ever let her play in the kids area! I think it stresses him out to have to monitor her behavior in public.