1. Do all Targets have the same things in their dollar spot section, or does it vary by region? I suppose there's no way to know unless we conduct a carefully-timed reconnaissance survey. I bring it up because some of you may have children who use water bottles frequently, like mine. We have a bunch of plain colored plastic bottles we bought at Michaels, which are a pleasing color variety, size, and spout shape, but they leak if they lay sideways in the diaper bag or lunch box, even with the spouts completely closed. We also have two Zak brand bottles which don't leak from the spout, but which have started to not close correctly where the lid snaps (or doesn't snap, anymore) onto the bottle. Recently I spotted licensed character bottles with screw-on sport-spout lids in the $1 section at Target and decided to give them a try. I bought one Paw Patrol and one Ninja Turtles even though my kids don't watch either. The bottles will spill if the spout is left open and the bottle falls over (or the child upends the bottle on purpose and shakes it, ELLIOTT GLENN), but so far they are great if the spout is clicked closed correctly before stowing. I like them so much that I went back and got one with the little alien guy from Home and one with a Despicable Me minion, even though we haven't seen those movies either. The kids don't care, and are happy to claim the bottles by color (Nico wanted the green Ninja Turtles and the lavender Home alien, so Elliott got the blue Paw Patrol and yellow Minion). Overly long story short - if your kids like / use water bottles, I recommend the one dollar character bottles from Target, if your Target carries said one dollar character bottles.
2. After a long absence, I went to Goodwill on Saturday with the hope of finding a pair of jeans, since I'm down to one nice pair that I can wear to work. The location Nico and I went to is the largest one in town and used to have the best stuff, but in recent years the clothing has typically been very iffy. However it was apparently my lucky day because I found a pair of jeans, a pair of really nice Gap pants in a light olive green fabric that is corduroy-like but not as textured, plus a lightweight sporty zip-up jacket and two yoga-type long-sleeve tops that I love. Nico wanted a toy and initially asked for a super cheap plastic car on big wheels. It was only a dollar and I was going to let him get it even though it had peeling stickers and is similar in size to a dozen other toys he already has and therefore would probably get played with for a day and then forgotten. But then I noticed a big blue Jeep that I knew he'd like and suspected he'd play with a lot more. As I was getting it off the shelf to show him, I realized it was a Barbie Jeep and mused that it was a bummer he didn't have any toys that could fit in it...but a moment later it hit me that of course, two of his very favorite tiny stuffed dogs would fit just fine. Well worth three dollars, I'd say.
(Semi-related - my mom went to Goodwill a week or so ago and found a really cute plastic dollhouse that opens in the middle and she got it for the boys to play with at her house. They have a whole pack of small stuffed dogs that live in the various houses, garages, and barns and they love them. It makes me a little sad I didn't know they'd like a dollhouse back when I saw a super nice Plan toys one on clearance after Christmas.)
Yesterday I was off work but had a dentist appointment in the morning, so E was at my parents' house and N was at morning dinosaur camp. After my appointment finished, I had an hour left before I needed to pick up N, so I drove over to the Goodwill closest to the university, which typically has the best selection of clothes. I ended up finding two more pairs of jeans I really like, another pair that I plan to chop into capris / shorts, and three pairs of pants for Nico. One was a pair of brand new jeans from Children's Place, so that alone was probably worth the drive. I'm pleased to have more jeans to wear, and to have spent only $5 per pair on them.
3. For any fans of Terry Pratchett, I am almost finished with a short story collection of his that just came out, A Blink of the Screen, and have really enjoyed it. There's a really nice Granny Weatherwax story that I particularly liked. And! And! I found out that there is going to be another Tiffany Aching book, coming out in August. I may spring for the hardcover, which I never do, because of all the stories lost when he died, her rumored final book was the one I was most sad about. And now it's not lost, it was finished after all. I will admit that I actually teared up a little when I found out. If you haven't read the Tiffany books, I wholeheartedly recommend them. I also wish I could buy a set for every ten-year-old girl in the world. They're so great. I also recently read and liked a Neil Gaiman short story collection, Trigger Warning.
4. We saw Jurassic World with friends on Sunday night and I loved it. I'm not going to tell you it was a brilliant piece of cinema or a perfect film, but I loved it. I have loved dinosaurs literally as long as I can remember, and my mom took me to see Jurassic Park at the theater when it came out, and this one did not disappoint. We went with two other couples, the ladies of which are dinosaur fans like me, and we were all pleased. I'm even glad we spent extra to see it in IMAX 3D, which we've never done. When it comes to the second-run theater in town, I may pay to see it on the big screen again.
5. Spray parks are probably one of the greatest things to happen to childhood since I don't know what. The one at the Y where Nico has his swim lesson also includes big umbrellas for the parents to sit under, and it may end up being our favorite summer hangout spot this year.