Is your March Break half full or half empty?

Much to the chagrin of Thing 1, March Break is now half over. He loathes this fact. He doesn’t want to be reminded of it or the time. Ever.

This is especially challenging because Thing 2 absolutely loves telling time. Loves it. If given the opportunity she’d announce every tick of the clock, well, every tick of the clock!

She loves announcing the passage of time so much these days that yesterday when we were in a rush (and quite late!) to make it to an appointment for Thing 1, I told her if she announced the time again during the drive she was going to have a new nickname – Big Ben.

We talk a lot about not wishing our days away at Chez Peady. We try to live in the moment. Thing 2 is clearly the best at this. When she was a baby – you should know she was talking pretty early on – one of the best and most astute things she ever said was “Be here now”. I am actually tearing up as I type that because it’s just so perfect. Such a brilliantly simple concept. Three little words. Be here now. Our Zen baby.

March Break should be an awesome week whether you are on a beach somewhere in the tropics or you are staying at home and things are pretty much business as usual. We find doing a little something special each day works best for everyone involved. It’s very important to find the right balance of “out doing something” and downtime. You don’t want to burn out and need a vacation from your vacation, but you also don’t want to waste your time away doing too much of absolutely nothing. It’s not a crazy race to live your life in one day*, but a way to spend time together while experiencing something enjoyable, familiar, interesting or new.

A week off school for Thing 2 is a week of adventure and time to play, use her imagination, do whatever she wants; living in the moment is a great trait to have when there’s a whole week of freedom. Thing 1 feels pressure right off the bat. “Oh no! It’s already Monday! I haven’t even read on the patio yet. I better get that done right now.” So out he went, still in his PJs, in *very* cold temperatures to read a bit of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”. I have to hand it to him, when his determination and focus line up he’s unstoppable.

As you may have already read, I really enjoy finding fun, frugal or FREE things to do with my Things. I thought maybe I would share a few photos with you to show you some of the things we’ve been up to, so far, this week. Sound good? Great!

*I just gave myself a Howard Jones mind worm that sent me down a must-find-that-video rabbit hole. Meanwhile, how can there not be a single website with the official video for “Life in One Day”? Not even HoJo’s itself. Come on! Really?! I’m disappointed in you internet web toobz. I thought you were more reliable than that.

March Breakin’!

We worked so hard. We studied and tried our best. We did our homework and learned lots of new stuff. We woke up on Mondays and went out bravely into the cold even though there were some days when it was physically painful to do so. We had our hair brushed and braided. We were on time for band. We made healthy lunches (or, at the very least, interesting ones). We suffered through cold and flu season and survived. We finally made it! Yippity biscuits! It’s March Break!

*blink blink*

Now what?

March Break Mug

Monday morning coffee in a customizable mug. LEGO! (Bonus: Math book)

Well, first of all a healthy dose of relaxation is in order. That is what the weekend is for, in my not so humble opinion, and we relaxed as much as we could knowing we didn’t have the same obligations we usually do, to be up and at ’em, come Monday. There is something so glorious about the Sunday before March Break “officially” starts. We were mellow. There was no acute case of the “Sunday Stresses”. It’s a beautiful thing, I tell you.

Yesterday was great! We had a day free of scheduling and just relaxed and spent time together as a family. We played an epic game of LEGO Champion, had a simple lunch,  went outside into the sun (and cold!) to play at a local park close to the water (well, it’s still ice actually, but I digress..) – we even invented a new game while we were there! Then we went grocery shopping (Yes all four of us! Crazy, I know, but it works for us.) for the week and came home to prepare dinner. We really kept it simple because everyone needs to minimize stress, not just the “students”.

After dinner there was time to do whatever we wanted on our own before we all got jammified and ready to watch our feature presentation. Thing 1 had some CPU time with Daddy-O, Thing 2 watched a TV show and made more Rainbow Loom creations, and I went to my happy place. Yup. Social Media. Twitter. Facebook. Instagram. Pinterest. I even perused Linked In. (WOT!) It was wonderful!

Then we all piled into the big bed to watch our movie. It was one of our favourites. We used a randomizer app – just for fun – to choose between “A Bug’s Life” and “Enchanted”. “Enchanted” won. Yay! Silly technology FTW! The movie was great, as usual. The Princess saves the Prince and they all live happily ever ever after.

Now it is Monday. March Break has officially begun, and we, like many families are looking forward to five days of freedom and some frugal fun!

So, without further ado (Hah! That’s totally further ado, isn’t it?!), here are some ideas for free, frugal, or relatively inexpensive fun, for the coming week.

From Monday to Thursday of each week Video Difference allows families to borrow two DVDs gratis.

Of course you know we are readers and we love the library. There are special events planned for each day of the March Break at Halifax Public Libraries branches all over HRM.

Chapters Indigo also has a free special activity for children in store every day this week.

All week long from Monday to Friday Cineplex has a March Break promotion called Toonie Matinees.

With many fun museums to choose from, in and around Halifax, there is plenty of entertainment and even a bit of education (Awww. Mo-OOmm!) to be had by just picking one and going for it!

I think we might choose to spend some of our March Break budget on something grody! The Discovery Centre has “Animal Grossology” as its feature exhibit. Ewww!

As always, we will go out and play as often as we can this week – even if it is a bit chillier than we would like – because playing is simply the best way to get exercise and have fun together as a family. Getting outside into the sun is good for everyone!

Hopefully, we can swing a play date or two and maybe even meet up at one of the special events mentioned above with some good friends.

How will you be spending your week? Will you have lots of time with your children? Does this fact frighten you.. or is it business as usual? Are you on a beach vacation? (What?! And you didn’t invite *me*?! *harumphs*)

I’d love to know what you will be doing and what kinds of activities your family enjoys during these long school breaks. I hope you will share some of your fun ideas with me by leaving a comment. Let me know if you decide to take in any of these cool activity suggestions! I’d love to hear what you think!

Happy March Break, everyone!

The LEGO Movie: A Mini {fig} Review

O-M-G-O-S-H! Go see “The LEGO Movie” as soon as you possibly can!

Seriously. It was BRICKTASTIC!

I wanted to spill all the details last Saturday (February 1st), which is when I got to see an advanced screening at Cineplex (on my Birthday, no less!) with my family, courtesy of a local radio station, a few sponsors AND our favourite local toy store, Brain Candy Toys, where I WON the tickets!

There is no joy like seeing a movie on a Saturday morning with your favourite people on your birthday! Popcorn for breakfast? Come on!! I was ecstatic.

We had BIG expectations and they were not only met, but exceeded. ALL your favourite Mini Figs were in there somewhere. (Assuming you have favourites. I mean, you have favourites, right? If not, we need to discuss this further, later though, I’m kind of in the middle of something here!) It was the perfect mix of “kid” movie and “retro” for the parents or adults who still just really love LEGO. I am not judging! I LOVE LEGO!

The actors who voiced the characters were perfection.  Yesterday on the radio one of the announcers was talking about it and she said “All the Wills are in there!”.  I had to laugh because she’s right. The LEGO Movie has three excellent Wills – Farrell, Forte & Arnet. Seriously. Perfection. There are a lot of familiar voices you will likely recognize, like Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother), Chris Pratt (Parks & Rec) and possibly my fav character 1980-Something Spaceman enthusiastically voiced by Charlie Day. Not to mention Morgan Freeman, who is perfectly cast as the “ancient and heroic wizard” Vitruvius.

This is what my LEGO dudes had to say:

hippie

rock-guy

elf

space-pirate

alien-queen

angry-scot

Now LEGO of your smartphone or computer and go see “The LEGO Movie”. Today, even. I’m so confident that you will enjoy it – I *might* be willing to bet my Angry Scot on it! Och!