Everyday magic, Octonauts edition

17 August 2020

I wasn’t planning to write a post about this weekend’s festivities, but it was such fun to bring y’all along on Instagram Stories that I figured I’d record this little slice of everyday magic here, too! (If you’d like to catch up on Stories, you can do that in this highlight!)

For those just joining in, Friday was the premier of an Octonauts Netflix special – Octonauts and the Cave of Sac Actun. Since Netflix’s algorithm can surely tell that our family has a predilection toward Octonauts viewing, they let us know it was “coming soon” a few weeks ago. We mentioned it to June, and started talking about how we were going to watch it together as a family – a movie premier party!

Buoyed by her excitement, things quickly ballooned from there, ha! The timing lined up perfectly with the kids’ last weekend before the first day of preschool, and we figured it would be a fun way to close out this particular season of our lives (especially in a year when a lot of fun has been canceled).

So, I added two boxes of blue jello and a bag of Swedish fish to my grocery list and picked up a blue plastic tablecloth, green streamers, and shell plates at Target. (June was SO EXCITED about the blue jello that she pulled it out of our pantry to show our babysitters every day last week.)

I had already planned to take Friday off as a last summer hurrah, so June and I had plenty of time that afternoon to prep the jello, make some Octonauts place cards (after I explained to her what place cards are, she agreed that every fancy dinner party needs them), and set the table with our “kelp forest” and plenty of sea creatures.

John’s contribution? Fishza: takeout pizza cut into the shape of a fish :) We rounded it out with cut veggies and dip and “ocean water” (blueberry lemonade). After dinner by candlelight, baths, and jams, we dug into the jello back at the table (verdict: after a few hours in the fridge, the Swedish fish are more for looks than taste, ha!).

And then, of course, it was time to snuggle up and watch the main event!

Except, of course, I probably don’t need to tell you that the main event had already happened… though the movie was just fine, the real magic was in the excitement and lead-up to the big day. I’m telling you, June literally couldn’t have been more excited if we had been going to Disney World – the perfect reminder that sometimes it’s just really fun to indulge your children’s quirky interests (truly one of the best parts of parenting, I think!) and that “going big” can mean a few dollars of Target party supplies and – most importantly – a few hours of quality time with mama and daddy. It was kind of painfully adorable how the whole family setting aside time to celebrate one of her favorite activities was just thrilling to her little heart.

Friends, I hope this encourages you to indulge in some at-home, everyday magic this fall! And if you’ve ever had an experience like ours, I’d love to hear about it! :)

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Victoria Bouchard
August 17, 2020 7:38 am

I loved following along on Stories with this. Such a wonderful and sweet idea! I’ll try to keep it in mind.

Kelly Strawberry
August 17, 2020 8:19 am

This made my day.

August 17, 2020 9:55 am

Mine too! Miss you both, friends!

August 17, 2020 9:09 am

So cute!! It looks like you all had so much fun! This reminds me of when we were little and attempted to turn your family dinner into a restaurant situation, haha! I haven’t thought about that in years!

August 17, 2020 2:06 pm

I love everything about this, Em. Painfully adorable is just the right way to describe the unfiltered delight children of this age take in the tiniest things. It cracks my heart open when we do things like this with Benjamin. One of the good things about the pandemic is that we have found even more magic in the every day.

August 19, 2020 9:46 am

Oh I love to see this! I don’t have kids of my own yet, but my parents were the best at everyday magic – to the point that, in our 20s, we still set out cookies and milk for Santa as our stockings will not get filled otherwise!
I remember when we were young, a new American girl doll movie was coming out. So my parents set up the kitchen to resemble the American Girl Store cafe in Chicago – complete with invitations to the event for us & our dolls, doll dishes, paper menus, and them acting as our waiters – before ushering us into the “theatre” a very fancy set up living room. These memories make life so sweet!

August 19, 2020 12:18 pm

So fun! I thought about you over the weekend when I saw that there was an Octonauts special on Netflix. You introduced my family to both Octonauts and Puffin Rock! We got our daughter the same Octonauts coloring book that June has and she was very excited. This is really really cool and I hope you won’t mind that we’re going to copy you all and do this for our daughter soon.

[…] Best family memory: Our fall trip to Highlands, our two backyard camping adventures, and our Octonauts movie premiere party! […]