02 October 2012

Of Dating my Mate

Like most wives, I'm a big fan of date night, but, like most young couples, we're lucky to scrape together enough money to go out, let alone the sitter that goes with it - which means we're generally left to either mooch time off our friends and family (when available) or being content with Netflix and home-popped corn.  It's not bad, of course, but for some reason it never occurred to me that dating my spouse at home could actually be spontaneous, fun and creative.  I mean, really, we spend all our time at home - what else could we possibly find to do here?

Then I discovered (via Pinterest, of course), an amazing blog entirely devoted to creative date ideas.  I was in love.  And when I saw a date idea based completely on silly science experiments, I knew that was the kind of experience my husband needed.  Acting like a kid while watching crazy scientific reactions?  Well, that's just the kind of nerds we are.

And instead of just looking at it and thinking, "That's such a cute idea.  That would be fun to do someday,"  I thought, "We're going to do that and we're doing it now." - Ok, so there may have been a little more delay in my putting the date on my mental calendar, but the fact that I moved out of the thought phase and into action is a big step for me.

After a little research, both on the initiating blog and on Pinterest, I had my experiments chosen and I was ready for fun!

So, on Friday morning, I printed the invitation (bonus: my computer accidentally printed it in black and white, so when I re-traced it in marker to add flair, my man totally thought I drew it all by hand - yeah, that's right, honey).

Then, the kids and I went on a Wal-Mart run for supplies and left this in Philip's car at work as a surprise for him to find when he came home for lunch.  The Reese's Pieces may have had nothing to do with our date, but I knew they would make him beyond happy.  And I don't know where to find beakers, but I felt this vase looked "science-y". He was intrigued and a little confused (and, yes, happy, because he had candy).  

And since we were in the surprising mood, we stopped by Aunt Dia's office to brighten her day (which was entirely Micaiah's idea as we passed the flowers in Wal-Mart and she declared, "I want to get flowers for Dia!"  She insisted on the pumpkin, too - which Emmett is thinking is a little heavy in this photo).

As the kids napped, I gathered all the supplies for our chosen experiments and put them in fun gift bags - because everything is more exciting when you get to unwrap it.  I left it all on the counter to taunt him until the kids wene to bed.  The goggles may not have been necessary, but they kept him guessing.

For dinner, we had Mexican Chicken Stuffed Bell Peppers - which looked kind of like little explosions.  This may or may not have been entirely a coincidence, but it worked out nicely.

After we tucked all the little ones in, it was time for some one-on-one fun!  I first did the trick of serving him water from the tap that changed colors in his glass.  Philip was concerned he'd be able to taste the food coloring - he has overly sensitive taste buds (slightly rolling my eyes).

Before we moved on, we had to put on our safety gear just in case (okay, really just because we had them and, when you have safety goggles, why not wear them?!).

Then he began to open up his surprises . . .

First up, a Mentos and Coke explosion.  Only lame me didn't read the directions fully before going to the store and didn't notice the emphasis on Diet Coke - the experiment was much more sad than exciting.  Good news?  I couldn't find just a single sleeve of Mentos, so we have plenty more to try again next time.

The next experiment fared a little better - creating a lava-lamp-like reaction with oil, water and salt.  This one was rather fascinating.

The third "experiment" was creating secret messages out of lemon juice.  Again, lame me forgot to get real lemons - note to self: lemon juice in a bottle is NOT the same thing.

While we waited for that to dry, we moved on to creating soap foam in the microwave.  I was so excited about this one and glad we saved it until last.

Look what Ivory soap does in the microwave!  The fun part?  You can still use it as soap!  Coolest ever.

We were still waiting for the lemon juice to dry, so we played Mario Party, as Toad and Toadette (because they match and we're cool like that), because we had just discovered that evening that you can do a two-player duel on Mario Party - it's not like we've owned the game for five years or anything.

And, finally, we revealed our messages - or tried to.  But after using both the iron and Philip's super-hot painting lamp, we could only see half the messages, at best.  But I got a really neat photo out of it, so I count it as a win.

Shopping list for next time: Diet Coke and real lemons.

The next day, we continued the theme by taking the whole family to the Oklahoma City Science Museum for Smithsonian's Free Museum Day (it's kind of our annual tradition).  There, Joseph loved the Science Live show.

Micaiah did, too.

Plus, she got to paint her own face.

And Emmett made new friends.

And we topped it all off with Chick-Fil-A for lunch, Toys R' Us (to use Micaiah's birthday coupon), Krispy Kreme donuts (hey, when you made the drive to Oklahoma City, you're going to make the most of it) and video games at home - I'd say we all had a fantastic weekend. 

Let's do this again, sometime, shall we?


  1. What a fun & creative idea Angela! I love the invitation card... Reminds me of the date cards on the Bachelor (shallow I know!) - such a great way to build up the anticipation!

  2. Love it! What a wonderful, sweet idea. Perfect date idea. :-) Love the pictures. Micaiah sure looks like her Momma in the picture at the Science Museum.