I had a rare day, today. I got a bonus on my paycheck due to an underpayment, so the girly day I had planned on having with my girls was amped up to level 10! There were things we HAD to do, but offset were things we WANTED to do. Some things they didn’t realize they wanted to do until we did them, even! Here’s the 411 on my day (do people even say that, anymore?):
We woke up WAY too early, but I had planned on doing that, anyway. We munched on muffins that we bought last night (chocolate chip for the girls and cranberry for me), then brainstormed our agenda, and dressed to head out the door. We left the house around 9.
My first stop was the Board of Education, so I could make sure all my paperwork was filed for my renewal on my certificate. I would really like to continue working next year and the DDS finally got my hard card driver’s license in the mail, so… yeah. This took longer than expected, which drives me crazy. There was no one else in the office when we arrived (I took the girls with me for maximum annoyance… naturally, they were on their best behavior and charmed everyone in the building!), but it still took almost 30 minutes to sign papers, get them notarized, copy my new driver’s license and leave. Grrrr. Security down there is crazy! Metal detector worthy of TSA, which I had to explain to the girls. They started asking the security officers questions and the two of them on duty were smiling while they answered them. It was stinkin’ adorable! Then you hand over your driver’s license, which gets scanned, and you get a visitor’s sticker with your picture on it and check in time that must be visible inside the building. The girls were chatting with the security guards the whole time about their tablets which they brought with them to keep them busy while I worked on my certification paperwork. Naturally, the little one needed to go to the bathroom while we were there, but I couldn’t leave the office, so I had to trust them to go. One of the ladies in HR walked them to the restroom, where they wowed her with their manners (“Knock before you barge in, ok? That’s what I always do when I need to go and the door is closed.” Whose kids are these, anyway?). We left and they smiled and waved at the security guards, then freaked out about going down the stairs on the front of the building.
Before we got to the mall for fun stuff, we took our reading logs to the Oglethorpe Mall Branch of the Live Oak Library System. The lady running the kid’s section of the library was AWESOME with my two, who were in awe of so many books in one place (like they’ve never seen it before… silly kids!) that they couldn’t stay focused on anything. They just wanted to get a book! We were entered in the grand prize drawing (oooo) and picked up our coupons for awesome stuff. Seriously, $5 off bowling, free entry to Oatland Island, $5 off at Frames and Games, some percentage off Lovin’ Spoons (froyo, peeps!), and a free entry to the UGA Aquarium on Skidaway! They even had copies of the Barnes and Noble Reading Log, which automatically qualified them for a free book for all the books the girls have read! Totally worth writing down all the reading the kids do! While we were there, they each picked out a new library book (Peanut picked up the first How to Train Your Dragon and Tadpole grabbed Pigeon wants a Puppy), and I headed upstairs to define my nerdiness by picking up a book about the documentation backing up the existence of King Arthur in English History and an Encyclopedia of Embroidery stitches! Win-Win!
`From there, we went back to midtown and Oglethorpe Mall. You see, I’d told them about manicure/pedicure time and they were excited! We had to stop and buy new sandals first (myself included, because I don’t own any that wouldn’t rub my little toe. Defeats the purpose of painting it if you rub the polish off!), so we went in the JC Penny side of the mall and stopped at Payless Shoes. They’re having a BOGO 1/2 off sale, which made me even happier! We each got a pair of sandals (and I got a set of earrings that has 9 pairs on it, not even joking!) and we headed over to Tip Top Nails, which is in the corner behind the soft play area. They are the only place I know locally that has kid-sized chairs for pedicures. PS- if anyone is interested, they only charge $20 for a full on pedicure, with two designed nails, and a kid-worthy manicure (trim and shape, then paint) with two nail designs. Can’t get that deal if you’re older than 8! The girls were super excited about the little flowers that were added to their colored nails. I want to add that letting an expert paint their nails is TOTALLY WORTH IT!
Our next stop was Bath and Body Works, because I had a gift card from one of my end of the year gifts! They’re having a HUGE FREAKIN’ SALE right now, so if you can hit them up, you can do some serious damage with your favorite smells! I let the girls pick out the smaller travel sized scents they liked (body spray, bath gel, and lotion.. 3 for $6!) and I picked up soap refills for the house (6 for $24!), as well as some hand scrub for the gardening I’m about to start. *rubs her hands together* Throw in the hand sanitizer that we just HAD to have (5 for $3) and you’ll understand why we had some fun in that place.
I tried to walk past Build a Bear, I swear! I failed miserably. I opened my mouth to tell them we were only going to get the small critters (the ones that are already stuffed!), but was cut off my a high-pitched girly SQUEAL when the youngest saw… HORSES! Not My Little Pony (she has those already), but the stuffed version of REAL HORSES. Yeah. *sighs* Today was my “yes” day, so I did what I could to keep the oldest one to the same price as the horse. Naturally, the oldest picks a dog, which HAS to have a leash and a bowl of food (I managed to cut her off about him needing a bed. GO ME!), which meant the youngest one’s horse got a bridle and a new brush (it has…like… hair in the mane and tail, so this is actually rather practical and she loves brushing hair, soo….). That’s about the point when I said “Screw it,” because the bear sitting by my door is still wearing the Mrs. Claus dress she’s been in for two years. I bought her a Wonder Woman costume to change it up. See how I didn’t buy myself a new bear? Are you impressed? Don’t be. Because I saw this little mini- bear that looked like a flamingo and she just called to me. She was on sale for $5, people! I bought her a mini-tutu to go with it, which was on sale for $8. All in all, the cheapest thing I could’ve purchased in that store! The best part, though, was the the dog Peanut got comes in a box that looks like a dog house! I begged for one for the horse and the sales lady bent the horse’s legs in order for the thing to go in the box. The girls were THRILLED! They take this Bear making thing seriously, let me tell you. Both the horse and the dog were fluffed and dressed, then had birth certificates printed! Look at these faces and tell me they’re not serious about it!
From there, we were famished and in need of lunch, so we headed to one of my favorite places to munch: Romano’s Macaroni Grill. We were settled into what is fast becoming our booth (we sit here every time we come, it seems) near the bar and Brendan, the bartender, handled our lunch. She was great, even stopped to chat with the girls about their Build A Bear visit and the awesome deal we got on their sandals! It’s not a cheap place, but it isn’t bad if you are careful about what you order. Since the girls both got kids stuff and I got a build your own pasta, it wasn’t too bad. AND you can draw on the table! That’s not even counting the yummy rosemary bread. SOOO GOOD!
After lunch, we hit Barnes and Noble for those free books. I had a gift card from one of my parents’ end of the year present, so I bought myself a really cool leather journal! I also bought Peanut’s copies of the books I know she’s going to need for next year (“Mom, really? It’s summer!”), and grabbed an extra for myself so I can write notes in the margins. The girls didn’t really like the free book selection, so grudgingly picked a book before begging to get books they actually wanted. Peanut picked books about dinosaurs (a beautiful paperback DK Encyclopedia that she somehow doesn’t already own) and a thinner DinoTrux book (which I let slide because it does have rather large words in it that I plan on making her sound out). Tadpole, on the other hand, has become addicted to Ever After High, and grabbed two of the books off that shelf which are easily on a 6th grade reading level. She wants me to read them to her, so I’m going to make her earn chapters by doing her chores. Before you look at me askance (“OOO, Tiff, it’s 10 PM. that’s a big word!”), I also bought Roald Dahl’s The BFG, which Peanut ooh’d about once she realized that she’s been seeing the advertisements for that movie coming out, which we will be reading together. As I write this, we’ve already read the first two chapters and can clock off another 20 minutes on our reading logs! GO US! I was a little disappointed because they didn’t have a bullet journal anywhere in their journal section. I will point out that I didn’t get a good chance to look, because the girls were whiny about being “bored” by then, and even distracting them with bookmarks didn’t dissuade them for long. Ooops, there was another big word, huh? Maybe I’m tired and the big words flow more freely when my mind is ready to shut down? Something to ponder for later…
My fingers were hurting from carrying all of this and I’d promised them we’d go to Claire’s and “GLAM IT UP” and then hit the candy shop before we left the mall in search of a genie lamp. We stopped by the Swagger Wagon to unload round one and then headed back inside the mall for round 2. We headed for the furthest place from us, Claire’s, where we went a little crazy over tiaras, necklaces, earrings, fake hair, and bracelets. Based on this picture… totally worth it!
I drug Tadpole into Earthbound Trading Company (I really love that store!) where we snooped around and I made a mental wish list in my head of stuff I wanted, tried on fancy Mardi Gras masks, looked for genie lamps (seriously, how do they not stock oil lamps in that place?), and ultimately left empty handed. PS- Still wearing Tiaras, here.
We even dipped into Spencer’s for a second, but aside from dancing to the music and laughing at the Ninja Turtle paraphernalia in the front of the store, didn’t stay very long. It’s another store I love wandering into and just looking around. The humor is apparent, everywhere, and I love being around things that take NOTHING terribly seriously, as often as I can. Maybe I do have something in common with Harley Quinn? NAH! However, still wearing Tiaras, here.
I snuck into Perfumania for S&G’s, just to see whether people still carried Euphoria by Calvin Klein and how much it runs. I don’t wear perfume to school because of potential allergies in the building, but I really do love the smell of that fragrance. $79 for the large bottle (that I’d never use all of) and $59 for the much smaller bottle. Yeah, I totally can’t justify that. *sighs* By the way, STILL wearing Tiaras here!
I was ushered off to the candy store, but was allowed one stop at Starbucks. I had TWO gift cards for that one and actually managed to get them both an iced hot chocolate, me a caramel frappicino and a pastry, and still have a balance left on one of the cards! The frappe was too strong for me, btw. I hate the taste of coffee and the caramel didn’t hide it well enough. Strangely, McDonald’s has a better one. Huh. We sat outside Starbucks with our booty, still wearing our Tiaras, and had Princess Coffee Break!
We did manage to dip into a new store called Rocket Fizz, which is a retro candy and soda shop. The collection of goodies in there was crazy and I’ll have to drag my husband in there, some time. He’d love it! Nothing to draw the kids’ eyes, though, except the giant lolipops in the doorway. LOL I was drug out of there after a cursory look around. Boo. We were greeted like royalty thanks to the Tiaras, though!
After that, we headed for the Candy Shop; Savannah Sweets, to be exact. This is a satellite location, but they make pralines and turtles on site there. The real one is on River Street. GO THERE. I forced the girls to get things the store actually made, not prepackaged stuff, which took them some thinking about. Peanut settled on marshmallows on a stick, dipped in chocolate and coated in Mini M&M’s and Tadpole fell for the chocolate covered cherries. After adding half a dozen turtles for Dad, we were out of there! See how I didn’t buy myself anything? Are you as impressed as I am! WHOOHOO! Progress! Still wearing those Tiaras, here!
Now, as crazy as it sounds, we weren’t done, yet. You see, we were on the search for a genie bottle. Our search had come up empty, thus far (not that we’d been looking very hard, but…). My next great idea? World Market! They have all kinds of imported stuff from India, so surely they’ll have a perfume bottle with gems glued on it, right? I know they have glass lanterns (I have a collection of them in my Christmas decorations!), so this can be worked with! Alas, no perfume bottles. However, they DID have the lanterns! They even had lanterns with different colored glass! WIN-WIN! And as we’re leaving, they have worry dolls on magnets! Now, normally, I would arch my eyebrow about the magnet, but it served my purpose today! The lanterns are metal. The dolls are on magnets. Know what we found? GENIES! The girls squealed, people! (chalk another one up for Mom!) Tadpole has ditched her Tiara by the point, but both Peanut and I still had ours on!
Now, the second to last thing on my to do list was to get our pet guinea pig a bigger cage for his visits to the Franklin House on school breaks. He’s gotten rather… rotund in his 3 years and needs a lot more space than before. He’s about to have a visitor, too, so there’s going to be a need for space here. We headed over to Pet Supermarket, which is a lot smaller than Petsmart, but the people are MUCH nicer! I bit the bullet and bought him the biggest small animal cage in the store for this endeavor. No more growing pains. He’s got plenty of room to be the biggest, laziest, fattest pig on the planet, now! He’s rather happy about the arrangement, I want to add! It’s too big to put on top of anything, though, so now he’s on eye level with Mitch, the cat! Mitch is aware that he’s there, but doesn’t have to deal with him much. However, now the thing is on eye level. hahaha. Fun times ahead! Now, here comes the part I had to really think about and it’s a move that’s both bold and, probably, stupid. They had guinea pigs there, 4 of them. All girls. Jo-Jo is a boy. I have an empty cage that is big enough for two small pigs. I have two girls cooing over the baby guinea pigs that I want to teach: a) responsibility, and b) cleanliness. I want their rooms to get cleaned and stay clean. They want a tiny guinea pig to call their own. *sighs* I came home with two baby GIRL guinea pigs. No, they will not be playing with Jo-Jo. Dana, in fact, came up with the perfect solution. The guinea pigs (Princess and Isabella, btw) will be living in the girls rooms. So, not only do they have to feed and water her, and clean her cage, they also must be able to get to the pig AND have space in their floor for the pig to run around on supervised romp times. Oh, and if they want stuff for their pig, they’re going to have to earn it by doing their chores, keeping their room clean, and spending money wisely. I’ll buy food and hay, the rest is up to them! *cracks her knucles* Let’s do this thing. If, at any point, they aren’t taking care of the pig, it will be donated to a classroom at school, supplies and all. Period. BTW, STILL WEARING MY TIARA, here!
So, that was our crazy fun, girlie day! I’m so stinking exhausted! How do people do this level of pampering and shopping on a regular basis? Both girls CRASHED at bedtime, though. I haven’t heard a peep out of either of them since I turned off their lights. They’re both VERY excited to get started cleaning their rooms tomorrow, too. Hopefully the squealing guinea pigs in the den will continue to be motivation for this task and the Zone Cleaning flip charts that have kind of slid to the side thanks to a back injury on my part (it’s not a habit, yet, darnit) will help back them up with keeping their spaces picked up.
I can honestly say that this was a terribly expensive day of saying, “yes,” but I’m really thinking it has done a lot for the three of us. We bonded over silly stuff, like how many people grinned at us because they knew exactly why we were all three wearing tiaras and flashy fake jewelry around the mall, and a few that bowed in our royal presence (hahaha, no joke. Some people are awesome!). We laughed about a guinea pig crawling into Tadpole’s hair as we held them to get them used to the girls this evening before putting them in their cage. We made wishes on genies. We giggled as the pedicure got to the part where they take the scouring pad to the bottoms of your feet and it tickles like crazy! And we practiced our royal voices and waves as we greeted our populace at the Mall of Oglethorpe. Memories like these make today completely worth it. I probably won’t be able to replicate it EVER again, and I had plans for that bonus that didn’t include any of this. I don’t have buyers remorse over any of it, though. And I wouldn’t trade a single moment of it for a hundred dollars back in my pocket.
I even got two fresh bottles of wine out of the deal. Mwahahahaha!
Wish me luck!
Until next time!