Legoland. It was an experience. We happened to go on the busiest day since they opened. The park actually had to close it's gates right after lunch because they were at capacity. Even super crowded, it was great. The kids are at the perfect ages for this. There were rides they could both go on. There were things for both of them to do. The lines did make it so we couldn't get on every ride they wanted, but we did the majority of the ones they were interested in. Monster and I stood in line for The Dragon for 30 minutes until he decided he really didn't want to do it, which was fine because the wait was still an hour from where we were in line. It was a long, long, tiring day, but totally worth it because the kids had a blast.
I love my son. He is wonderful. He is empathetic, sweet, compassionate. However, he's also so very sensitive. Today, we were watching A Christmas Story. Yes, it's a little inappropriate for 5 year olds, but not because it's scary. Well, we didn't get very far in the movie. We got right to where Ralphie gets his mouth washed out with soap for saying the f-word. Again, not highly appropriate, but at this point, Monster doesn't have any idea what Ralphie really said. So, fast forward to about 8 hours later and bedtime. Monster was in tears. We couldn't figure out why. He kept saying the movie was scary. We couldn't figure out which part was scary because he kept saying he didn't want to talk about it because talking about it made him picture it. It wasn't until he woke up with a bad dream of the movie that we figured it out. Where the boy sticks his tongue to the flag pole is the part of the movie that scared him. When I say scared, I mean hysterical crying scared. I don't know how to get him over this. I love him and want to foster his caring, loving qualities, but he can't be scared of everything.
I forgot to post this picture on Tuesday when we actually did this. Our last act of kindness was completed. We baked cookies for the new neighbors. Sunshine had a great time making ginger cookies.
I admit it. I've gotten addicted to crafts. It's bad. Husband wants me to stop, but I just can't. Here's the latest...
My little angels. Sunshine did her's first. I learned from it. You have to do the hands first and then the foot. Still, it didn't turn out too badly. Monster did his second and we did the hands first. Turned out better.
We call the kids Thing 1 and Thing 2 because they both love Dr. Seuss. I found this on Pinterest. I think these turned out awesome. I hung them on the kids doors last night as a surprise for this morning.
When I was in college, I took an art class in which we had an assignment with a partner to sketch the same object. My partner and I chose a tree. We sat right next to each other and looked at the same tree. Our sketches turned out completely different. Our art teacher was impressed and thought we had planned it that way. Nope, just our perspectives. I focused on a part and she focused on the whole.
That assignment always comes to mind when I see people looking at the same thing in two completely different ways. I've noticed that most people tend to look at a part instead of looking at the whole. They focus on the one thing that they want to see, the easiest thing. That's what I did with my assignment. I'm not a good artist, so a part was easier for me than the whole.
All of us have situations that we only look at a part, the part we want to see. Living with Husband, I've trained myself to look at the whole. He's that kind of person. He typically sees the whole of a situation, event, etc, and acknowledges it, no matter how unpleasant it may be. I guess that's why I find people's perspectives so interesting.
The particular subject that got me thinking of this again is my wonderful Sunshine. It's funny how when people see her and they don't know her well, they think she's such a girly girl. She loves to get her hair done (only by other people, because if Mommy tries to do it, forget it). She loves to have her nails painted. She likes to wear dresses. She plays with dolls. She dances and sings. She loves picking out her own clothes so she matches. She wears a LOT of pink. Those are the things some people want to see. They want to believe that she is a super girly girl because, well, it's cute that way. However, people who KNOW her know this...she's always got her hair down with it in her eyes. She likes wearing jeans and t-shirts just as much as dresses. She is happier to dress up like a fireman, policeman, or construction worker than a princess. She plays with tools and trucks and cars. She loves Thomas the Tank Engine. She wears a lot of pink because she has a lot of hand me downs, and, well, she does look super cute in pink. Her favorite colors are actually blue and orange. Our house is always filled with music, so, even Monster loves to dance and sing. She loves playing soccer. She digs in the dirt. She's just as happy, if not happier, to run around naked than in a cute outfit.
I admit, I used to focus on the the second half of her traits. I am NOT a girly girl (except for nail polish...love having painted nails). But now, I focus on the whole. I have it on good authority that Sunshine is not only getting dolls for Christmas, but a trowel, magnifying glass, work gloves, and a tool box (pink, of course). And right now, I know her favorite gift will definitely be the toolbox. That way, she's just like her big brother.
Since we will not be around for Christmas, we decided we needed to get in gear and finish up the calendar to make sure everything got accomplished.
Today we dropped the cookies off to the Fire Dept. Wow! What an awesome experience! We got a half hour long personal tour. The kids were in heaven! The firemen and office manager were so nice! It was just what our day needed. Sunshine pitched a fit about leaving because she was having too much fun. When we did leave, they gave the kids hats, badges and coloring books. They told us we could come back and visit any time!
Day 20, donate items to Children's Center. The Children's Center is someplace that we often donate to. Monster and I find it extremely important to help children who don't have as much as we do or are in bad situations. Monster went through his puzzles and coloring books and donated some to the Center. We also bought them paper products we know they need.
Day 21, we took muffins to the staff at the center for Alzheimer's care. A lot of people don't realize what an important job these people are doing. It's not easy and takes a special kind of person to do it. The director was a little bit skeptical of why we giving them muffins. We let them know it was because we appreciate what they do, but she still seemed a little hesitant. Funny how people aren't used to others doing nice things for them.
Days 22 and 23. Monster wrote notes to his friends telling them he was happy they were his friends. I was quite surprised with who he picked, but, it was his choice. He drew pictures on all of them (he actually wrote 3 letters and not just 2) of all of them playing together.
Day 24 will be baking cookies for the new neighbors. Sunshine and I should get the accomplished today while Monster is at school.
I have to say, it's a been an adventure doing this. The kids loved it. Sunshine just thought it was fun, but Monster even stated, "I like doing our Advent Acts of Kindness to help people. Maybe we can do more for the next holiday." I let him know that we actually do a lot of acts of kindness almost everyday, but they aren't usually planned out. Monster already come up with a great Mother's Day act of kindness that he really wants to do. I'm sure he'll think of more throughout the coming year as well. Hopefully, some of this spirit of helping others rubs off on Sunshine. I know she too young to really understand right now, but, as I've stated before, children learn from example.
Day 17, we baked and decorated cookies for the local fire dept. Unfortunately, but the time the cookies were done, the fire dept was closed. We'll be headed back tomorrow to drop them off.
Day 18, we baked muffins and cookies for the ER staff at the local hospital. We made pumpkin spice muffins. Both kids wanted to help. It made a huge mess, but they had fun. The ER staff was very surprised and a little suspicious of why we would bring them something for no reason. Monster had also written a note letting them know we appreciate all they do. I have never personally be that ER, but husband has been there twice. It's nice to know that we have a good hospital just minutes away.
Day 19, was a simple phone call to Nana and Papa telling them that they are loved. This was cute. Sunshine called up and left a message on their machine. "I wub you, Nina and Papa. I wub you, Nina and Papa! I WUB YOU, NINA AND PAPA!" I think she was expecting them to answer her :)
I've been finding a lot of cute crafts to make lately. I'm not the most crafty person, but I'm not doing too bad with them. Here's the latest. These are for Monster's teachers. Thumb print reindeer. Super cute and easy. Just bought plain ornaments, used acrylic paint on Monster's thumb, he made the prints and then I used a Sharpie for the details.
Since Monster was born, I have been saying that my kids don't need toys. The can amuse themselves with their imaginations. I was lucky that Sunshine is just as imaginative as her big brother. However, for some reason, people believe my kids need tons of toys. Our play area also happens to be the computer room. All of the toys are here, minus some stuffed animals that are in the kids' rooms. Well, my kids have been refusing to clean up. So, they lost being able to use the computer room, and everything in it, until they learn to put their stuff away. It's been three days. They get a little annoyed because they each want on thing, a piece of paper and a stroller, out of the room, but they get over it in about 2 minutes. Guess what...my kids don't care. My kids have found other things, and not TV, to amuse themselves with. They play Space Rangers together and Hide and Seek and Simon Says. They read books together. They dance and sing. They are far from bored. The only toys they are left with are the stuffed animals from their rooms. Using just these, they create amazing stories for imaginative play. I'm really proud of my kids for not whining and crying that they lost their toys and making the most of the situation. However, our plan to get them to want to clean up pretty much backfired.
Day 15, We made cards with candy attached for cashiers at stores. Just whomever we happen to go to. Only passed out one so far at Target, but we have them in the car so we're ready.
Day 16, we donated food, paper towels and wipes to the local SPCA. They weren't officially open, so we had to leave the stuff outside the door (there were volunteers there though, so the food will get inside tonight!)