Friday, June 25, 2010

Rainforest Blasé; I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for iPhone!

Sorry for the radio silence! I had a lot of fun stuff to type about but never enough time to do it!
For Monday we had plans to do a tour at the Rainforest Cafe! I had been looking forward to this for over a month! My one worry was that we'd be late (which wouldn't have been a problem, as it turns out.) Well, Little Z took care of THAT! She woke up at 5:30 that morning and wouldn't go back to sleep. I HATE getting up early. Oh well. At least we weren't late! The tour wasn't until 10:10, so by then she'd been up so long, she was ready for a nap, which she started on the drive to the Mall! She slept through being removed from the car. She slept through being hauled into the mall. She slept through at least 15 minutes of standing around waiting, and being told that bringing my stroller in wouldn't be a problem. She slept through being schlepped back to the car to get stroller. She woke up when I unlocked the wrong side of the car and said "Oh, nuts!" I hear a tiny, sleepy, "Nuts." So I was able to set her down to wrassle the stroller out of the car and get it set up. Hooray.

The tour had finally started when we got back, with the guy talking about the animatronic animals out front, with too many graphic references, in my opinion. ("If you didn't have skin, all your blood and guts would fall out!" when talking about crocodile's skin.) Little Z was still dazed from just waking up, and was not interested in the man's 'story.' I got her excited about the animal figures, and the crocodile 'robot.' She liked the huge elephant head concierge desk, and gave it a hug. She liked the jumbo snake hanging from the ceiling, wriggling and opening and closing its jaws. She was more interested in the gift shop toys than the fish tanks, so we lagged behind for a bit. When I got her to finally move to where the rest of the group had gone, she wanted to see the fountain with a big gold statue in it. I decided to stop fighting it and just do what she wanted, since the tour guy hadn't impressed me with his blood-talk ("Maple syrup is like trees' blood. That makes us like tree vampires!") and references to jokes and stories over their heads.

She decided to be scared of the animatronics and statues after that, since I had mentioned to another mom how someone else's son had been scared of the crocodile. She likes to be scared of stuff that other people are scared of. She's like an anthropologist, trying to 'experience' a native culture. She's like that with her pacifier too, which she never liked, and only just recently found since we were packing them away. She's seen how it's used, but doesn't understand the mechanics. She doesn't suck on them. She just stands there with it in her mouth, looking around. Sometimes it's upside-down, sometimes sideways. She holds it in with her teeth. It makes her look like a kid pathetically trying to fit in with the rest of the crowd but not being able to pull it off.
Since she was "too scared" to look at the gorillas or elephants, I sat down with some of the other moms at a table and waited for the tour to end.

The food was served soon after. The one in charge of booking this event for us had the brilliant idea for us moms to order our food at the beginning of the tour, so it was all ready when the kids' food came out! The kids were served hamburgers, fries, dinosaur chicken nuggets and pizza, family-style. I could have saved $25 (*GASP* I hadn't looked at the price when I was glancing quickly at the menu since my online menu pre-pick wasn't available at this location) and just eaten the kids' food. There was PLENTY! Don't get me wrong. My coconut shrimp, shrimp scampi and filet mignon (with mashed potatoes and veggies) were tasty, but I did not need to spend that much on a lunch! PLUS $7 for hers. Luckily my server kept trying to bring me water instead of the Sprite I had ordered, so I only got charged for a water (even though I drank the Sprite!)
My leftovers were a pleasant surprise to Unka See-see (who lives downstairs,) who was just beginning to get peckish and thinking about lunch when we got home.

Each of us was given a coupon for 15% off in the gift shop for that day, plus a free kids meal and drink on a future visit! So Little Z got to pick out 8 little animal character 'action figures' ($1.99 each or 8/$10, so already 'saving' $6, plus another 15% off = 8/$8.50!) Her favorite was the one I almost didn't buy out of the 9 available to choose from. It was their little tree frog mascot in safari gear with binoculars in one hand, and the other hand curved to fit around it if you brought both hands up to his eyes.

After lunch, we wheeled off to the Godiva store. I had joined their Rewards Club last month, which gets you a free chocolate every month. One from the case, not just the daily freebie sample they offer anybody. And if you spend $10 in a single transaction, you get a bonus the following month. Currently, you get 2 MORE free chocolates, for a total of 3 the following month! So I got myself a 'cone' of dark-chocolate covered strawberries for $9 (much better deal than the singles for $5/7/9 depending on size. I got 4 decent-sized berries) and 2 of their foil-wrapped $27/lb loose candies - enough to hit the $10 for next month's bonus! Since I hadn't spent $10 last month (she didn't have any strawberries made up, and I didn't want to schlepp back down there after lunch. I was beat!) I only got 1 free chocolate. Since Little Z was happy with her pink-foil-wrapped loose truffle ('Choklik ball') I got to choose one for myself this time! (Last time they had truffles on mini cones, like ice cream, and Z HAD to have one!) I decided to be wild and crazy, and tried the pistachio truffle, rather than my usual dark-chocolate caramel chew. It was pretty tasty.

Little Z fell asleep for her 2nd nap on the way home. When she woke up, I left her with Unka See-see and earned $25 doing a secret shop, which I promptly spent at Claire's Boutique on 10/$10 clearance items!

We spent Tuesday and Wednesday with a friend who needed us. I was in such a hurry to get everything packed for our overnight stay that I forgot to feed us breakfast on Tuesday, so we stopped at McD's. I had an old sour cream cup (washed) that I keep in the car, which is perfect for holding the dip container, a nugget or 2 and some fries, so she can eat in the car without all the mess. Because I discovered, after driving away, that I had not received the Ranch dip, and she was asking for "kepotch dip" which I had deflected with promises of 'white dip,' I made them go into the lobby and fill one of their little ketchup cups with ketchup for me, so she got both!

Wednesday evening, I lost track of time, and we raced back to try and get to her first Little Gym class of the semester at 6pm. Daddy was still trapped on the bus in downtown Seattle that he had caught there an hour before, so we were on our own. Since I had to stop for gas, we were almost 20 minutes late, instead of just 10. Some day I'll make it in time to learn the other kids' names! Amidst protests of "I don't WANNA go Niddo Jhim!" I dragged her inside, stripped off shoes and socks, and had to peel her off the door so I could get it open to let us into class! It was worth it! They had the climbing wall out, which we've only ever seen once before, when she was far too uncoordinated and short to use it successfully. She climbed it all by herself! And tried to pitch off the other side as well!
After Gym, we met Daddy and Unka See-see at a great Japanese buffet restaurant in Federal Way (Main's.) They love it because the food is good, and I love it because my child eats so many strange thing there. She loves the roe off of the sushi rolls. She loves the deep fried whole "shimps" (I call them 'crunchy shrimp' because of the sound it makes when she eats the legs and tail.) She likes the Salt-and-Pepper Squid. Edamame "beansh". Tempura zucchini. Spring rolls. She'll eat crab legs too, if Daddy shells the meat for her. She eats almost as much as I do, which makes paying for my meal less of a waste of money! She'll try most anything there, and loves having her own 'dip' dish. (For soy sauce.)

Today (Thursday) was new-iPhone-release-day, so Daddy stayed home from work. He gave Little Z "Chokkit Puffsh" (Cocoa Puffs) for breakfast, without a sneaky 'healthy' cereal base like I do (Corn Flakes, Cheerios or Rice Krispies.) Then, by the time I was ready, in the car, halfway there, noticing I didn't have my ID on me, which we'd need since the cellular account is in my name, turning around and getting it, then getting to the mall, it was around noon. There was a loooooong line of people who had reserved one. And if you reserved one and didn't pick it up today, you lost your reservation.

So we got in line. I stood there with Z while Daddy did a pre-emptive potty run, then Z and I went to the kiddie play area. We got waylaid by an escalator (she likes going on them) and at the top was a Claire's boutique, so I went in to check out their clearance section. This location didn't have the 10/$10, just 50-70% off, so we just got a baby Snow White doll in a beach themed outfit for $4.50. Then she clutched it on our way back down the escalator and to the play area, where I opened it and let her fight with other toddlers who wanted to touch it. The Southcenter play area is kind of lame, in my opinion, except for the activities along the wall (a 'rainmaker' wheel that makes the little balls inside rattle around like rain as you turn the wheel) and an animal sounds electronic button one. After another fight at the rainmaker wheel "NoOoOO It's MY toourn!" and getting shoved a little, she was ready for lunch. We went back to Daddy, since he wasn't answering his phone to get his lunch order, and trekked up to the food court.

Since I had mentioned that she liked the clam strips at Ivar's for the brief 5 seconds that she wanted Daddy to go to lunch with her, she started clamoring [pun unintended, but left in anyway] for 'clam shimps.' I had her clarify whether she wanted clam or shrimp, and she chose shrimp. Ugh. I've learned from past lunches that a clam and chips Kids Meal is enough for the 2 of us, but I didn't want shrimp. Luckily, they had some 'Ultimate Feast' or something with a fish strip and clam and shrimp. Hooray. Little Z ate fry after fry after fry until I threatened to take them away unless she ate a shrimp too, so she happily gobbled down a shrimp, then more fries. I ate the fish and clams. When she was done, there were shrimp left over, so we saved them for Daddy. For lunch, he had said, "Just get me a few pretzels and I should be fine" so I fished around in my pocket for my Auntie Anne's Pretzels coupon stash, and found one for a free pretzel dog with purchase of a pretzel and drink. So I got a dog for him, a pretzel for them to share, and a pretzel for me. There was very little sharing. I had thought she was full, but she packed away another 2 shrimp while Daddy was eating them, and 3/4ths of the pretzel!

The Apple Store had free fruit juice popsicles, Mrs. Field's cookies, water and mini Jamba Juice cups they were wheeling along the lines throughout the day, so Z found room in her hollow leg for those as well. By the time we finally got his iPhone, we had been in that stupid line for over 4 hours. She fell asleep just before the end, and stayed asleep through her Daddy-to-carseat transfer. Nuts. Another late nap. (Leads to another late night!) Holy crap! It's 3am! I need some sleep! Maybe there will be some fun cooking or craft ideas to talk about soon!

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