Friday, December 2, 2011

HELP! Mom Advice, Please. QUICK!

Okay. I'm 48 years old and I'm hosting a child's birthday party on Saturday for the first time in my life! What the hell can I get for the damn goodie bags? Seriously, I hate them. I've given Sunshine a lollipop from a goodie bag, then discretely "forgetten" the rest. But everybody does it. I've had moms tell me they like picking out the plastic crap, because the kids love it so much. Part of the challenge is that there will be a somewhat wide age range of kids. A 3 month old, an 18 month old, three 2 year olds (including mine (you've got give your own kid a goodie bag so they won't freak out)), a 3 year old,  a 4 year old, and a 10 year old. I'm not planning on giving a goodie bag to the 3 month old.

What can I get that's cheap budget conscious, isn't made in China, and might appeal to a wide age range. I'm taking a vacation day tomorrow to get everything ready. I plan to hit the local discount stores (of which we have many, I live in the land of the mom and pop dollar stores) for decorations, plates, napkins, etc. in the morning after dropping off Sunshine at daycare. Then grocery shopping. I can go out for goody bag crap probably early afternoon. Help me, internetz!!

Any other cheap budget conscious toddler party ideas would also be welcome.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Happy birthday my precious, precious girl! (A day late.)

I can’t believe my tiny baby is TWO! A big girl who loves her kitties and her friends, who can run around and climb playground equipment, and who will tell anyone who’ll listen about “hawsies” that go “uppy down.”

Two years ago I was making my way to the hospital for your arrival. My birthday letter to you last year was about a baby. I don’t have a baby anymore. In your second year of life you became a toddler. A little girl. Your words started coming, and now you are learning new ones every day. You love to sing and dance, and you are SO funny! I wrote last year about your sense of humor. Little did I know! You started making jokes almost as soon as you could talk. One of your first words was cat. Then you called all animals “cat.” Even once you surely knew better. You would point to all the dogs in our neighborhood and shout, “CAT!” But you knew better. You’d get this little gleam in your eyes when you’d say it. Sometimes you would do the sign for dog, and say cat. Sometimes, to let you know I got your joke, I’d say, “Oh, Sunshine, you know that’s a doggie.” And you would smile and point again, and say, “CAT, CAT, CAT!” Now, of course, you know what so many animals are called. Your elephant impression, complete with your arm as the trunk, is adorable. A few carousel rides, and you’re obsessed with “hawsies!”

Right now Mommy is nervous about your upcoming surgery. On December 16th, you’re scheduled to have your tonsils and adenoids removed and ear tubes put in your ears. I’m so sorry that Mommy is distracted by this right now. I know you need this, but Mommy hates the idea of you being in pain. When you are older Mommy will show you a video of how loud your snoring was, and that you had sleep apnea because your adenoids and tonsils were so big. And as much as I’m dreading this, I’m looking forward to you hearing better. Right now, because of the constant fluid in your middle ears, you have about a 20-30% hearing loss. So, although you understand EVERYTHING, your speech is sometimes garbled. Soon you will be much easier to understand, and we will both be less frustrated. I know you have a lot to say!

You are a smart, sassy, affectionate, strong-willed, little girl. Strangers practically swoon when you smile at them. Last week, when you ran behind the counter at Starbux, I apologized to the barista, who said, “It’s okay. She’s so cute, she can have whatever she wants.” And he gave you a free goodie. You are so loved! And you know it! You have a confidence that I imagine comes from feeling so cherished. I hope you never lose that.

You still sometimes give me a hard time with diaper changes. Seriously, sometimes you scream so loudly someone might think I’m torturing you instead of just wiping poop off your tush. You are so smart and funny, but you are also a typical toddler in some ways. Your favorite words are NO and MINE! NO sometimes seems like your default answer to any question. But when I offer you something you want, your eyes light up, and you give me an enthusiastic “YEAH!”

At some point I think you might notice that you don’t have as many toys as some of your friends. I’m writing this for you to read when you’re older, and I want you to know and understand that this is a conscious choice. Even though it’s fun to give you new toys, I would rather you have toys that you really love and enjoy, than an overabundance. Yesterday we went to a play date at a friend’s house and you emptied a LARGE plastic bin of toys one at a time and didn’t play with any of them. This reinforced my belief that more is sometimes less. You certainly have plenty to play with at home, and never seem bored. I think not having so many toys spurs you to use your imagination. I love watching your imagination develop.

Oh, my sweet girl! I could go on and on, but I’ll just finish by saying that you are my joy. My life went from gray to technicolor with your arrival. Your smile, your laughter, your hugs and kisses … THE BEST!

With all my love forever,