For Bean’s 7th birthday, my mom took him on a trip to Washington, D.C. They are having a blast, and I’ll share details about their trip once they get home and I can hijack my mom’s camera. For now, she is sending me pictures on her phone every few hours, and I can just see the pure joy on Bean’s face. It’s his first trip away from home without us, and so far, I think we miss him much more than he misses us!
But no one misses Bean more than Gracie. He left yesterday, and she woke up this morning at 7:00, immediately asking if she could FaceTime with him. When I told her we would have to wait until tonight, in true Gracie fashion, she stole my phone and tried to call Nana’s phone herself. Such a stubborn child! But I can’t really blame her. The house definitely feels much emptier without our fourth ninja running around.
Gracie was pretty bummed that she didn’t get to go. I’ve tried to make it up to her this week by spending some extra time with her. She is in Vacation Bible School at our church everyday this week until noon, but after that, we’ve been trying to do some fun things.
Yesterday, she wanted to spend her eight beads (see my rewards post here for details on her beads) at the store. She didn’t care what store. She just wanted to spend her $5. I was going just take her to Target, but then she asked if she could go to Toys R Us. So then I upped it even more. “Want to go to Disney Springs instead?!?!”
“YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” which was followed by high pitched squeals.
Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) is one of our favorite summer spots. It’s free, it’s fun, and it makes you feel like you are on vacation for a few hours. In the past two years, they have been doing major renovations and we have stayed away because traffic was insane down there with all the construction. So, we have been looking forward to going back to see what all has changed. This was a perfect chance!
Gracie and I went into every single store. We normally stay down at the Marketplace end, which is more kid-friendly (and home to one of our favorite splash pads!). I was actually relieved to see they haven’t changed that end too much. I was worried about our splash pad! But the shops and restaurants throughout the rest of the Springs are updated and really, really nice!
Gracie was on a mission to spend her $5. Now, there isn’t much you can get in a Disney gift shop that costs $5 or less. We found some pencils, some buttons, and even some cute earrings (which she was super excited she could wear now!). Back when I thought we would just be going to Target, I made the mistake of mentioning that she could get one thing for $5 or two smaller things if they costs less. She got it in her head that she really wanted TWO things for $5, instead of just one. Even in the happiest place on earth, I doubted that was going to happen.
And then we walked into the candy shop where you could mix and match candy by the pound. 1/4 of a pound (which is a ton of candy!) was only… (wait for it)… $5.00!
“Gracie,” I told her. “You can have any of the candy on this wall.”
And her little eyes lit up like stars. “I can pick out a lot of it?!”
“Yep,” I told her.
She loaded her little bag with all kinds of random candy, and my inner Fun Mom trumped my inner Dentist Mom and I just let her go crazy (up to 1/4 pound…). She didn’t even end up getting $5.00 worth of candy, but she was so happy with her find!
We stayed at Disney Springs for a couple hours before the heat got to us, and then we moseyed on home with Gracie’s bag of candy. We got back to the house, snuggled up on the couch, and watched “Frozen.” I sure do miss my Bean Man, but I’m enjoying this special time with Gracie Girl.