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She did it. It took her about a year, but Kenzie talked me into a Yes Day. The idea of a Yes Day is that I can’t say “no” to anything she wants to do. To establish boundaries, we went in with a budget of $25, and I could say “no” to any unsafe situations or ideas. Other than that, it was all her.

The other parenting hack I utilized, was to start seeding ideas with her two weeks in advance, so she had a mental list of approved activities to choose from. I thought that was really smart of me, but she saw right though that. At the end of what turned into a Yes Weekend, Kenzie said, “That wasn’t really a Yes Day, because everything was already planned.”

“Well gosh, was it now? I guess we’ll have to try again next year,” I said.

Jeff was out of town for the weekend, so Kenzie and I had the whole house to ourselves. We kicked off girls’ weekend with a spa night. Face masks and mani’s all around! I had also ordered some Tovala meals, so Kenzie essentially made dinner. It was an absolutely delicious chicken parm. Winner winner, chicken dinner!

On Saturday, we got up early to head over to Wildcat Alley. Whenever Northwestern has a home game, they set up the practice field as a fun event for kids, with inflatables, games, face painting and more. We donned all our Wildcat gear, wandered through the tailgates, got our face painted and had lots of fun.

Kenzie asked if we could skip one of her two gymnastics classes to hang out longer…and I said, “yes.” We made it to the second class. After that, it was time for Downtown Evanston’s Fall Fest. We decorated pumpkins, I got stung by a wasp, we played Jenga. (I got stung by a wasp while surrounded by small children. It took everything in my body not to yell, scream, cry or cuss.) Kenzie also really wanted to get a henna tattoo, so I said, “yes.” That took the $25 budget down to $15.

While there, Pearl asked if she could “babysit” Kenzie for a bit, and that was wonderful. I said they could go to the local toy store, where Kenzie used another $10 to buy some fidgets. For dinner, we were both tired, so we opted to order in spaghetti and snuggle up with some tv.

Kenzie then proceeded to talk me into extending “Yes Day,” which was fine. We kicked off Sunday with Art Class, and then invited one of her friends over for a playdate. I fed them lunch, then took them on a shopping spree at Hello Tokyo, a Daiso outpost, so essentially a Japanese dollar store. It’s heaven. They had loads of fun wandering around and looking at all sorts of knick knacks. Left with some Ramune, pop-its, stuffies and socks. I scored some foam rollers for my hair.

Then, as luck would have it, Mr. James texted and said he was working Jack’s Pumpkin Pop Up! He helped build and set-up the installation, and now he just wanders around as Spiderman to entertain the littles. Mr. James left us a couple tickets at the door, and we definitely couldn’t say no to that. I was completely and utterly tuckered out, but Mr. James is one of Kenzie’s favorite people, so I knew had to rally. Jack’s was an awesome mix of people. Instagrammers were out in full force, dressed in their plaid and skinny jeans. Young urbanites attracted by brew pubs hidden in corn mazes. And of course families. Loads and loads of kids. It was definitely a fun experience, and a nice change from your standard pumpkin patch. The corn maze was great too. I thought it was going to be a simple exercise created just for the kids, but nope. I lost my sense of direction a few turns in, and loved all the secret hidden scenes peppered throughout the maze.

On the way home, I surprised her with a quick stop at Joong Boo for freshly steamed bao. Then at home, we made another Tovala meal, this time gnocchi alfredo with pesto broccoli. And she got to try out the curlers first.

So lucky to have this time with her. There was a time in my life I wasn’t sure I’d ever get to be a mom, so getting to share weekends like this with her…I appreciate every single minute of it. Okay, maybe that’s exaggerating a bit, as there were a couple meltdowns this weekend. But for sure, 99% of the time I’m absolutely blessed. 🙂


Distracted, working mom seeking short escapes from a hectic life via quick crafts and fast food. Sure, she could meditate, after she cleans the house.

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