Welcome to “Where We Go Wednesday!” This is part of my “Where, Wear, Ware Wednesday posts. I enjoy sharing places we go, things I/we wear, and products (wares) that I’ve reviewed, so I stick ’em all on Wednesday. This week, we went to Miller’s 5 & 10!
My children are really, truly wonderful creatures, and I love getting to spend every moment with them. . . but holy moly, we need spring. We needed it to be spring like three weeks ago. Spring means that we can get out of the house without winter coats or the threat of the flu-pocalypse. Spring means that I can send them into the backyard to run in circles instead of feeling like my kitchen is a NASCAR track.
These kids need some dirt on their hands and sunshine on their cheeks. They need to run a little wild so they fall into bed worn out at night.
I’ll admit, I’m a lot more motivated to get us out of the house when the weather is pleasant. When it’s cold, I’m all about the grocery pick-up and staying in as much as possible. Problem is, that makes some antsy children! I wasn’t kidding when I said they run circles in the kitchen. I’ve been pulling out all my indoor tricks, but they’re getting stale.
Spring likes to tease us a little in southern Indiana. It gives us just enough of a taste that we get cocky and start to box up our winter gear before it says, “Just kidding! See ya in a few weeks!” The upside of the sneak preview spring days is that as soon as I realize it’s 65 degrees outside, my mind says, “We have to get out, now!! Go do all the outdoor shopping! Find a park! Trim all the landscaping! GO!” So, I get really excited about the nice day and throw open the windows, leave my coat at home, and go enjoy the beautiful day.
(Don’t worry. I close and lock the windows before I leave the house.)
We’ve had approximately 47″ of rain here in southern Indiana lately (slight exaggeration), so our backyard is a total mudpit. Which should just be a fun thing for the kids to jump around in, but it’s swampy, sticky mud right now and little guy doesn’t have any rainboots. So, I had to find something else to do on our beautiful days Monday and Tuesday. We only last so long blowing bubbles in the garage before they start to venture out into the sticky mud, and we already had a walk where we found (and rated) all of the puddles. I told the kids we were leaving to get a surprise, so they quickly got their shoes and headed to the van.
A walk around an adorable local town square sounded perfect. Unfortunately, I didn’t check the hours on the stores and found out that most of them are closed on Tuesdays. . . Oops! Luckily for us, Miller’s 5 & 10 was open! This store has been open for decades, but somehow, I’ve never stopped in to shop! I’m actually pretty surprised by this, because when I was pregnant and looking for furniture 4 years ago, I used to waddle around the Boonville square every couple weeks.
As soon as we walked in the store, Roo spotted a rack of Melissa & Doug activities. She asked very sweetly, “Mom, can I PLEASE OH PLEASE have the jewelry stickers?!” At $4.99, this has been the best toy investment I’ve made in a while. It has provided two days of sit-down quiet activities. It’s a large pad of paper that has different faces on each page. She’s had a lot of fun accessorizing each face and hands with the stickers. There are manicures, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and rings! According to my daughter, each one is “fabulous,” and “so fancy!” I haven’t gotten her to call any of them “fetch” yet, so I guess that’s not happening.
Of course, as an OT mama, I love the fine motor and visual motor skills she can work on while placing the stickers. And you know how I love stickers.
Now, we couldn’t get Sis something without also getting something for Bud. Melissa & Doug won again with the “On the Go” activity set. It’s a marker that will only mark on the included paper. It didn’t even mark on his mouth when he decided to taste it! I’m pretty sure it’s non-toxic. . . Honestly, I think that he’s still a little young for this one, but it keeps him entertained for about 30 seconds when he sees the colors appear on the paper. I get a little longer out of it when I point out the fishies that show up when you color.
And again, as an OT mom, I’m always looking for ways to get writing utensils in his hand to work on pre-writing and grasp skills.
I also found a little something for myself. It’s hard to find gear from my college alma mater outside of the campus bookstore (which I was a proud employee of for my whole college career!). Around here, it’s always IU or Purdue, and maybe Notre Dame, but our local universities don’t get a lot of love in retail land. Naturally, I had to buy the USI Tervis Tumbler once I spotted it. That’s like supporting local times two! A local store and a local university. If only the tumbler was handcrafted locally, it would have been a local trifecta. But, then it would probably cost about $75 and I wouldn’t have bought it. Like Meat Loaf said, two out of three ain’t bad.
We wandered the store for a little while and I made a mental note to come back for birthday and Christmas shopping. They had a good selection of high quality toys, games, and activity books in addition to other goods. On our way to check out, Roo grabbed a Dum Dum and unwrapped it as she asked, “Mom, can I have a sucker?” So, I bought that one, plus another for Bud, and some M&Ms for me. We headed to a little pocket park on the corner of the square and just relaxed with our snacks.
Johnson Park came about when the building in that location was in danger of just falling over. The brick wall was bowed out and held up with steel beams. It was a disaster waiting to happen. I don’t know the whole story, but the building was torn down and a cute little park was built in its place! I think it’s the perfect little addition to the square. My mother in law and her husband actually got married in that gazebo shortly after the park opened!
Now, on a drizzly, dreary day, I’m looking forward to our next spring preview, and eventually, full on spring.
Y’know, for two weeks until humid southern Indiana summer hits us.
Do you have any local suggestions to visit this spring?