Friday, April 18, 2008

Holy Build-A-Bear Batman!

It's school vacation week. Instead of staying home and being bored out of our minds, I planned activities to keep us busy all week. Thankfully, the weather has been wonderful all we and we got to do many outdoor activities. More on those later.

Wednesday I took the girls to the zoo (never go to the zoo on school vacation week). Since we were in Providence anyway, and they had been asking, I decided to make a surprise stop at Providence Place, and more specifically Build-A-Bear.

For some reason, I envisioned running in, grabbing what we want, filling, dressing and being out a few minutes later. I'm not sure WHAT I was thinking!

First stop, once we got in, was to pick out our animals. Einey quickly choose a turtle, Meenie took a few minutes and finally choose an elephant. Moe oh Moe. She couldn't make up her mind. The bunny. No a bear. No a doggy. Wait. The turtle too. No this one, the dinosaur. That's the one I want.

Next stop was the stuffing station (we skipped the sound station this time - and I'm glad we did - more on that later). There were only two people in front of us, but still ,we had a good 10 minute wait. The girls were in awe as they stood on the foot pedal and watched their creatures come to life. They loved spinning, jumping, waving and kissing the heart they filled with love to place inside their new friends.

After that, we went to the fluffing station. The girls loved giving them an air bath and were very thorough. They asked if we could get an air bath tub for at home.

After that, it was time to get them dressed. They were told one outfit each that's it. Because if I let them add accessories and shoes, we'd probably still be there two days later! Moe saw a yellow fairy outfit and wanted the Belle outfit for her dino. Since I had seen actually Disney Princess outfits in another section, I brought her over to check them out. She liked the fairy costume better. In fact, all three of them choose different color fairy costumes. That brought us the the next stop, the dressing station. And Oops, the turtle has a big slide off shell, so he cannot wear the wings while he's wearing the shell. Einey was fine with that. She calls him a lizard when he takes the shell off. And once the shell is off, he can wear the wings.

The last stop was the naming station. This took a tad longer only because I had to do each one individually. But they all got named and it was off the the registers.

So we left an hour later with a turtle, elephant, triceratops, three fairy dresses (one red, one pink and one yellow), bows for ears/tails/horns, three build a bear "houses" (because the boxes were the second most important thing they had to have you know!), a gift card for a friend, and minus $120. Not to bad for three of them. Oh and codes for the new online interactive website. I may still keep that information to myself though, they've already been sucked into WebKinz world and Little Pet Shop world.

So it was back to the van, with the girls lugging their boxes. After negotiating the escalators (which there were only two falls on - usually I have extra hands!) and finding my van - because we totally forgot what floor we parked on. Thanks Einey for being more observant that I was! We headed home. Well sort of. We actually hoped on 95N instead of 6W. So I had to turn around and head back. But once I found 6W, it was smooth sailings.

We got home, unpacked, found out we had nothing for super, headed to McDonald's and made it to soccer with enough time to grab some food before practice started. While I was walking around the soccer field handing out shirts and picture information to coaches and solving any last minute issues (there are no more fields, where's my team, ect) my girls were nicely eating their supper. Or so I though. Just as I am walking back to the field Meenie was playing on, Einey comes running over "Mom, look what Moe did to me, she spilled her chocolate milk all over me". Only she failed to mention that Moe also spilt chocolate milk on my chair and most importantly all over Dino. Yup, all over the do-not-wash-surface-clean-only-Build-A-Bear.* I was not very happy. So I followed their suggestions, I surfaced cleaned the spots with mild soap and let it airdry. The next morning "Mooooooooom, my dino feels funny. He's hard and crunchy". And he was. While he didn't have chocolate milk spots, he still smelt like chocolate milk and didn't dry very well. SO we borrowed some Build-A-Bear cleaner from a friend and tried that. Nope nada, still the same results. Pretty peeved still, I emailed Build-A-Bear for any other tricks. Their results, while fast, told me:

Thank you very much for emailing us about your furry friend. Some of our animals should not be washed in the washing machine because of their long hair or manes. In addition, if your furry friend has a sound box, the sound would most likely become damaged if submersed in water.

Some of our animals with short fur and no manes can be hand-washed or washed in cold water on gentle cycle with a very small amount of laundry detergent and then air-dried. You would need to visit a store and have the sound removed (if the animal has one) before washing the animal. Please place the bear in a pillow case and tie the case closed (this is only to prevent the eyes from hitting the sides of the washer and possible scratching).

We also have a product that cleans stuffed animals. It is called Bear Stuff Cleaner(tm). This product is available for $6.00. If you would like to order this product, please visit one of our store locations across the United States or Canada. You can also visit our website and type "Bear Stuff Cleaner" in the search box, or you can call our toll-free phone number and any representative will be happy to assist you in ordering this item.

If you do not wish to purchase the Bear Stuff Cleaner, we suggest using a mild soap and washcloth to surface clean the animal, and then let it air dry.

Um thanks, but I already told you I tried both those methods. Since it didn't have a sound card (and I wasn't about to drive back to Providence if I didn't have to) and it was short haired, as a last resort, I threw it in a pillowcase in the washing machine on gentle. And then in he dryer on the air only setting. And you know what, it came out perfect. Good as new. I was going to try this anyway. That or send it over to my mother in-laws. She's usually able to fix any problems I have!

So all in all, Moe is happy to have her Dino back and I'm happy I didn't waste $30 on a stuffed animal that was immediately trashed. It was a win-win situation.

So the moral of this story: Even a chocolate covered dinosaur can easily fit in the washing machine.

* And for the record, I was going to have them leave them in the van. Only my hands were full and they promised me they would not put them on the ground or eat near them. It's more my fault than anyone's. They are never allowed to eat with toys.


SciFi Dad said...

I dread our first foray into the Build-A-Bear world. My daughter has the inherent need to accessorize EVERYTHING, so I expect our first visit will produce a bill similar to a mortgage payment (I kid, but only a little).

But to drop that on a one-day dinner companion? I think I would have popped a vein in my forehead.

Now I know: short hair, no sound.

Whirlwind said...

That's why the girls were told one outfit from the start. If they couldn't agree to my terms, they would have ended up with nothing :P If I let them pick what the ywanted, it would probably have cost next year's school tuition!

But yes, short hair and no sound makes it easy to clean (once you figure out how to do it). Especially if you don't live close to any shops!

Gladis said...

Gosh, this post is totally soooo informative! I was researching on how to wash my bear because it looks like it needs a bath real soon. Thank you so much for that. Btw, i'm just a random passer who googled and came by your blog.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the information. Our bear is very very dirty after almost 2 years of lots of love! I really had thought about washing it by hand. I had planned to take the sound out myself as I have inserted a new one previously because Hannah Montana lost her sound!!!