So, in August, we went on a family adventure to Natural Bridge Caverns.
I thought I was the Coolest Mommy in the world for planning this adventure, until we actually got inside. Charlie likes to run and the path is slippery, wet, steep and can land you in some really fancy rocks that they don't want you touching. And I kind of forgot that Dixie is deathly afraid of heights. Except for the screeching, clinging big-child, and the tantrum-having, wild-running tiny-child, things were great up until the point where middle-child had a fit over a deer in a gift shop.
So, no adventures with Christmas money. This time I thought I'd play it safe and do some shopping. I have this little spot in my kitchen that is supposed to be a tall counter that you stick bar stools under, but I have no desire to have my children drag bar stools around the house, climbing on them, falling over and getting into things. So I thought it would be the neatest place to put in a little play kitchen. That way they could play cook right next to me while I really cook and we could have this fabulous family togetherness thing going on. The play kitchen can fit right under the little countertop and have it's own cozy spot, out of the way of the real kitchen space and not invading the living room.
This was a fabulous idea with only one small problem. All toy kitchens I scoped out were either too tall or to wide for the space. I have looked for years, because I think I first had this idea when Melody was about eighteen months old. I did get some little wooden preschool kitchen pieces off ebay, but they became storage cabinets and junk holders because they didnt closely enough resemble actual kitchen components for the kids to figure out what to do with them.
I was again googling my little heart out, trying to find a kitchen when my imaginary friend Christi stumbled upon this:
It fits, perfectly. And it looks cool. And, despite being quite small, actually has enough components to it to be fun. Added bonus: imaginary friend's imaginary husband is a real-life Costco employee willing to buy it with his discount and free shipping.
I bought a huge set off food to go with it. I couldn't get a picture of the actual set, but it is something like this:
And because Santa Claus is incredibly brilliant and brought them a tea cart and breakfast set, they like to play 'cooker.' One girl asks your order and writes it down, then tells it to the other girl. She is the cooker, wearing the apron. Then the waitress elaborately arranges it on the tea cart and wheels it to you. The tray is removable, so you can dine luxuriously on your plastic foods.
Tea cart (with tea set) and breakfast set:
As an added bonus, Charlie loves nothing more than to remove the removable tray and race the car around the house, making vrrooooming sounds and shrieking with maniacal laughter. The girls LOVE it when he does that.