3am pancakes

3am pancakes 1One time when I was a kid, my parents woke me and all of my siblings up at 3am unexpectedly and took us to a 24-hour breakfast place for blueberry pancakes. We were the only ones in the restaurant. It was ridiculous and silly and so-so-so exciting.

I want to do crazy, spur-of-the-moment, memory-making things like that for my kids too.

P.S. I'm still beaming from the puddle-jumping afternoon we had yesterday - what FUN we had.

All photos are from yesterday's rainy day adventures:

photo (above): My 3-year-old; running from a big BOOM of thunder. She's not scared of it, but she does like to be by my side. And then she laughs like crazy.

photos (below): Her hair is undeniably curly. I think it's safe to say that now.

3am pancakes 2 3am pancakes 3

P.S. Did your parents ever do anything spontaneous or ridiculously fun when you were a kid? What "crazy" things have you done w/ your kids? Inspire me!

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30 comments on “3am pancakes”

  1. my parents were never the spontaneous type, but I recently took the mattress off of my daughter's toddler bed, stashed the frame and set up a Disney Princess tent she once got as a gift in there with the mattress inside. Now she camps in her room.

  2. SO FUN! I love that you said 'yes' and got soaking wet. I love that you have a huge smile on your face. I love that your little girls loved every minute of it. I love #1's curls. Such a fabulous post. I want to be spontaneous and carefree too. Your parents are brilliant (and brave) to take you on a 3am outing...especially with six kids! I am filing that away for a few years down the road. Thanks for sharing!

  3. How fun! Nothing too exciting...but we did travel a lot (locally and internationally). : ) LOVE the pictures !

    I do a lot with the kids...but I can't think of anything crazy...at least not at the moment...let me keep thinking...

  4. How exciting that must have been! I need to do more things like this with my son.

    Those curls are extra special!!

  5. Oh, I love your last two posts, and watching you enjoy life with your girls. My parents never did this 3am pancake spontaneous thing, but I love it, and I totally want to do this with my kids- thank you for the idea (and freedom) to be spontaneous!

  6. What a good idea, and what fun! I'm going to get more creative with my spontaneous parenting moments like that, there are a bunch of good ideas in the comments! The best I've done recently was for my 3 year old, we had "birthday week" where she got to do something fun every day (her little sister was only 5 weeks old so our house has been topsy-turvy and she hadn't had as much time with us as usual). Her favorite activity was when I told her we get ice cream (yogurt from Yogurt Jungle actually) for lunch. "But what will we eat for lunch?" she asked, puzzled. "Ice cream will BE our lunch- but just for today," I told her and her eyes widened as she said "Nothing but ice cream! Hooray!"

  7. How fun, Stephanie!

    For my daughter's birthday this year, I took her and her best friend out for an ice-cream sundae at Mel's Diner at midnight. She had such a great time! And I couldn't believe how packed the place was that late (or early!). :)

  8. Wow!! Her hair is really curly! So cute~

    What a fun memory you have and I love that you are wanting the same kind of memories for your kids.

    I love dancing in the rain btw, we don't get rain very often. A bit of a novelty here as well :)

  9. I love this! My Dad worked alternating shifts, so for two weeks he'd work regular days, then he'd work two weeks nights (I think it was something like 3 - 11). Sometimes my mom would surprise us with unexpected dinners. I remember loving "Breakfast for Supper" (Pancakes, eggs, bacon, the whole nine yards) or "Smorgasborg Suppers" (she'd let us raid the fridge and come up with something for dinner...and regardless of how bizzarre a dinner we'd come up with, she'd eat it!). Or "Pizza Picnics" -- we'd sit on the living room floor enjoying a take-out pizza and a rented movie together. But my absolute favorite was when she'd pile us into the car and take us to a local ice cream place for an "Ice Cream Supper." She didn't do any of these all the time, so it was always such a fun, unexpected surprise when she'd do it. I still remember my brother, sister and I in giggles in the back seat of the car as we headed out for ice cream sundae's for supper!

  10. I cant remember my parents doing anything too crazy with us. Just yesterday, we were stuck inside the house while there was a big storm outside. I got out my face paints and started with my daughter's face. She asked me for flowers on her arms and then her ankles. She was sitting still so nicely and was loving it so much, it turned into tummy painting next. She was seriously covered from head to toe when it was all done. It was a bit crazy and I probably will NOT be repeating that anytime soon! She loved jumping into the shower afterwards though and watching all of the colored water go down the drain. It kept her occupied and busy for about 2 hours and I am certain she won't be forgetting that anytime soon! It was a bit out of the box for me, too. I usually keep the face painting to a minimum but since we were stuck inside, I decided to go a little crazy and spontaneous and have a little fun!

  11. One time when my dad and brothers were at scout camp, my mom woke me up early and took me to Disneyland. (we only lived about an hour away at the time.) It was such a special trip.

  12. This post makes me smile. What great parents:) I was just describing "The Waffle House" to my big girl when we made pancakes the other am. Maybe I will put it off a little until she can really appreciate the excitement of a wee hours visit- but this is definitely a must do. Thanks for the inspiration.
    Love those gorgeous damp curls! Lucky girls:)
    I can't say that I have had many grand spontaneous schemes as a parent yet but try to have daily new fun experiences. Our days have a pretty good routine that allows for deviations to be exciting. Our big girl eats adventure up! We love "sploring" walks as others have mentioned.
    Many of my favorite memories involve my parents doing crazy memory- making. My mom was never afraid to take us out of school so we could have an equally educational life experience (museum trips, artist openings, special events). That always made me feel so special. My dad & step-mom were very intentional about family trips, summer fun and celebrations. Camping out in the backyard and playing outside late at night are some favorites.

  13. My parents would take us for donuts and hot chocolate before the sun rose and then drive to the beach to watch it rise over the waves.

  14. A few times, my dad drove us way out in the country in the middle of the night so that we could watch an eclipse or a comet. I remember sitting in the bed of the truck wrapped up in a blanket with the binoculars checking out the stars.

  15. Thank you for this post. I do need to do crazy, memory making stuff with the girls. They will be grown before I know it. I wonder if my sons have any memories of spontaneous adventures?

    Gosh, it seems like ages since I've read your blog! I think I'm a week behind and I don't like that! :-)

  16. We didn't do anything out of the ordinary growing up. My father was terminally ill, he passed away when I was just 7. I do however remember before he got sick taking long drives, just to drive and see. My dad would pack up the car with a cooler and some blankets and we would just drive for hours. It was so special and times that I truly cherish!
    I started taking the kids for more spontaneous walks lately. Instead of taking our normal route we'll go through random trails, make our own paths and they love it. They think it's so cool and they feel very adventurous.

  17. We used to go for midnight swims in our pool, I alway liked that. I also love the memory of being picked up and carried to the car at 4 AM to get going on vacation or fishing/camping trips and watching the sunrise as we drove along (we did that with the kids this year, they loved it). I LOVED our camping trips, cooking over the fire, eating fish we caught, late nights around the campfire, singing and eating smores.
    Whenever the monsoons would come, we would head outside in the first storm and play 'till it was over or dark. We would even get inner tubes and float down the wash (cactus and all...ha).
    What else...oh Christmas night my cousins and I would have a huge game of hide and go seek outside in the dark after dinner. We would team up and it would last 2-4 hours. The last one we did we were all teenagers and blacked out our faces :)
    Huge family vacations, driving all around the US and stoping at families/friends for visits or camping for a few days.
    Wow, I could go on and on, thanks for bringing up these memories :)
    I love being spontaneous with the kids...making traditions and memories. My dad says the best thing you can give your children are happy memories :)

  18. I'm not spontaneous but I'd like to be. I think maybe tomorrow morning we'll have to have ice cream for breakfast!

  19. Yep... I always say I want to do those things too. They did something similar... they kept us up super late and around midnight we went to one of those 24 hours places for a midnight snack.

  20. I wonder who she gets the curly hair from! :)
    I miss the monsoon rains. It's been rainy here, but it just makes it that more muggy. I do love them, tho... and I love when S hears the thunder and runs to the window to see what kind of car made that sound. It must be a big one! :)

  21. My mom liked to go for drives. She would take random roads and dirt roads just to see what we would see. I would get SO nervous!! :)

  22. Every morning in summer we'd say "Mom, what's for breakfast?" 99 percent of the time the answer would be "Cereal." But usually about twice every summer she'd suddenly say "Ice cream!" and we'd get to have big bowls of ice cream for breakfast. It was such a rare/random surprise that we loved it...and kind of secretly hoped that every morning the answer was going to be ice cream instead of cereal. :)

  23. Although not spontaneous, i've always loved my mom's tradition of homemade vanilla ice cream on Memorial Day. And we were never told no to "seconds" even if it was just a couple hours before dinner. So, so yummy.

  24. One Christmas when my sisters and I were a little older (high school I think) we got home from midnight mass and my mom decided she was so excited about our gifts that she wanted to open "just one" that night. Well just one turned into all of them. We finished opening gifts somewhere around 3 a.m. and we couldn't stop laughing about staying up so late to open presents.

    It turned into an annual tradition. Even after we started moving out one by one, we still make the trip to exchange gifts in the wee hours. The best part? We get to sleep in on Christmas morning -- something you are otherwise too excited to do!

    1. What a FUN idea! The night owl in me loves it. ;)

      I also really like how this tradition takes the focus off of gifts on Christmas day. It would be so fun to wake up and have a late breakfast, bundle up and go serve somewhere in the community, and then come back for a night of movies or board games.

  25. I just had a similar post this morning.

    We let our big girls stay up past bedtime and throw "pop-its" outside last night.

    They had a total blast! And while its not something we do normally, I think we'll have to do it again some time, they loved it so.

  26. She looks so much like you in those photos. It rains like that here too - I used to call it "Canadian rain" because the torrential downpour of a thunderstorm didn't really seem to happen in Belgium where I grew up!

    My dad used to get down on all fours and play lion with us. We were the gazelles and had to run away from him. He roared so much that he would be unable to speak the next day.

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