Tag Archives: birthday

Happy Birthday She’sWrite!

Go, go, go She’sWrite! It’s yo birthday! We’re gon’ party like, it’s yo birthday! We’re gon’ sip Bacardi like… Well maybe not, but it has been one year since I started this blog.

Erica Lynn Photography

My first year of blogging has been great because I’ve learned a lot. Most of my lessons have centered around how little I know about social media, but it’s been fun to explore. I’ve met some really cool people, some really crazy ones too. Though many consider me one of the crazies and that’s OK.

Hubby has been pushing me to start a blog for years, and I finally did because I felt the need to carve out a little space for me. I remember when I started, I wondered in my first post if anyone besides him would read it. Yep, folks read it.

I’m still surprised when people tell me that they follow my blog. I try not to think about who out there could be reading/judging my ramblings because I don’t want to censor myself. If I thought about it, I wouldn’t tell you about me glaring at the other daycare mommies, my judgment of a little brown girl in the grocery store, how I sometimes get the blues or that my kid knows Eminem lyrics.

But again, this is my blog, my space and I’m so glad it’s here. It helps my mind to breathe.

I’m even more thankful to you for listening to me, calling me out when you disagree and showing me new life lessons. I look forward to my next year of blogging as I hope you do too. Big things are on the horizon including a complete fancy-pants redesign and (drumroll please) self-hosting. For the technorati that’s not a big deal, for this low-tech lady, it is.

Thanks again and keep coming back for more.

(Cue 50 Cent)

Go She’sWrite! It’s yo birthday! We’re gon’ party like, it’s yo birthday…

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Happy Birthday Cha-Cha-Cha

Well I’m now a whopping 34 years old. How on Earth did that happen? Yesterday was my birthday and I didn’t do anything spectacular, no fancy dinners, obnoxious balloon bouquets or singing telegrams. Just a nice, quiet day at home.

Remember when we were kids and your birthday was such a big deal? Now that’s not so much the case, and I’m OK with that. I feel like I’m getting older because I sound like my dad when he’d say his birthday was “just another day.” And a few years ago people would treat your birthday as just another day.

But not any more. Thanks to Facebook the world can know it’s your special day and tell you all about it. I got well over a hundred birthday wishes on FB and so my phone was pinging all day notifying me each time someone made a comment. Nothing makes you feel loved quite like dozens upon dozens of friends recognizing your day. It was kinda cool.

The boys treated me good too. Ethan and I went out for breakfast and did a Babies R Us run, his gift to me was staying asleep the whole time so I could enjoy myself. I spent the day at home catching up on some old DVRed shows, snuggling with Ethan and fielding a few birthday calls.

Then Hubby came home early and we had my presents, a tasty spaghetti dinner and cake from my favorite bakery. And I mustn’t forget the Happy Birthday serenade. Before belting out the song, Logan warned me that it was going to be the cha-cha-cha version. He was right, there were some good cha-cha-chas in there.

All in all, a chill kind of day. It wasn’t something where I spent the day looking back on years past or thinking about the years to come, it was just a day where I soaked up the day for what it was: My day.

Mommy’s Memory: What Happened To My Steel Trap?

I’m forgetting things. Not trivial things like forgetting to unthaw the ground turkey before leaving for work in the morning. Not egregious things like forgetting to pick up my kid from daycare, but things that before would be safely locked in my steel trap mind.

These days it’s more like a steel sieve. Why is that? After becoming a mom, my brain isn’t as efficient as it once was. Is it the lack of sleep? Is it that I’m juggling more? Some hormonal shift that affected my internal hard drive? Who knows.

It’s funny because at work, my memory’s fine. I believe it’s partly because I write everything, and I mean everything, down. I can’t do that at home as I need both hands to cook, clean, play with Logan, clean him, clothe him, put him to bed, etc.

So what am I forgetting? Well earlier this summer I lugged Logan into the city for a party at my friend’s condo. I buzzed the door, but no one answered. Turns out the party was the next week. I couldn’t bear dealing with the insane Chicago traffic again, so we just hung out on the lakeshore for a few hours.

A few weeks ago my sweet, dear friend from middle school was to have her baby shower. I planned on going and went to double check the date on the invitation only to find that I had missed it. By TWO WEEKS! How lame?

Last week I tried to cancel a doctor appointment that I had never even scheduled. There’s friends that I keep forgetting to call back and I still haven’t mailed my Father’s Day card. Yep, that was June 20. (I bought them early, they’re just at the house. My understanding pop tells me to save them for next year.)

My biggest recent debacle has been my young niece’s birthday. It’s just before Logan’s (so you’d think I’d get it together right?) but I didn’t. I brainstormed some gift ideas about three weeks before her birthday, then on the day remembered we needed to call her to at least wish her a happy birthday. I told Hubby and he agreed we needed to hop on the horn soon especially because she’s seven time zones away, but it also didn’t happen. Ugh. She just turned 3 like Logan and thankfully my sister-in-law was very gracious and understanding, but you still feel like the world’s largest loser.

So experienced moms, will my brain power ever return or do you even remember? I hear it improves, but in the meantime I’ll try to be better at updating my calendar, keep begging for forgiveness and being thankful I’ve got so many empathetic pals.

Surviving the Birthday Party With Cake and a Smile

I confess. I didn’t do what I said I was going to. Remember how I planned to not stress and just have a few friends over and order pizza for Logan’s birthday? Ha, well, not so much.

About an hour after I posted that I remembered, my little guy doesn’t like pizza. (What kid doesn’t like pizza?) Then it looked like the few people we invited might not make it, save for one child that Logan doesn’t really know. That’s when I decided to invite his two best buds from school.

Logan's blowing out the candle on the construction cake at his 3rd birthday party.

And here’s where the party went from easy to not-so-easy.

A week before his party I remembered to buy invitations for the daycare kids and wrote them out in the school parking lot. Our friends got the ever-so-convenient Evite. While grocery shopping at the new store in the ‘hood, I ordered his cake. (Me? Bake? Whatevs, not since college.) Then I caught my hubby’s cold and that knocked me out for days.

Everyone we invited RSVPed yes. Whoops. I told myself: OK, remember, this is supposed to be *not* stressful.

Thankfully the day before the party, I began to recover and could get things together. I ordered food from the same see-and-be-seen new grocery store, then swung by the party store for a few decorations.

Unfortunately the forecast called for rain, so no outside play for us. We have a split level town home and it gets packed easily. Especially when calculating the extra space toddlers need to bounce off the walls. I started racking my brain to figure out what to do with the little people.

I hate party games, well, save for drinking games and you can’t really do Beer Pong with kids. Thankfully I like crafts so I set up two craft tables for munchkins. (Translation: end tables and small chairs) I had marshmallows in the house and toothpicks to make tinker toys. The second table was for making bugs. Logan and I sometimes do that with egg cartons, eyeball stickers, pipe cleaners and markers.

Alas it was party day and I was stoked. Hubby played with Logan while I picked up the goods. The cake looked so awesome, I found myself showing it off to strangers in the aisles. Who was this crazy woman and what has she done with the previous me?

The first two guests were Logan’s best buds and he exploded with shrieking, hopping excitement as they arrived. He gave them a tour of the house “Shawn! This is my bed! Cali! This is our stove! Shawn! This is my mom’s…” He also loved sharing his toys with his friends, showing them how the excavator worked and even thought it was fun to have the other kids help him open his gifts.

It was a fun free-for-all when unwrapping the gifts.The crafts were a hit. Helping six kids make bugs was a bit like training kittens to jump through hoops, but it was fun nonetheless. While all the kids were downstairs, most of the parents were hanging out upstairs talking and noshing around a graveyard of toys.

After the party one mom gave me the best compliment. She said it was great because she was able to relax and enjoy herself without having to think about her kid too much.

I figured that though I didn’t have a party that was stress-free for the hostess, my kid was over-the-moon happy. And if I provided a place for other hardworking parents to get a little respite, well, that was more than good enough for me.

Wanted: The Perfect Birthday Party

I’m starting to get a little worried. My son’s third birthday is in three weeks and I have no clue what we’re going to do.

For his first birthday we had a sizable party at the house. His second was at the local park district where the workers had great games and prizes for all the tots. This year I haven’t the energy to do either.

The options, though, are seemingly endless. You can take a tour of the fire department and have cake at a nearby park, go to the swimming pool or a splash pad, there’s also always a trip to Chuck E. Cheese or those bounce house places. I’ve even heard of parents dropping thousands of dollars for petting zoos and carousels in the back yard, fake snow for sledding in the summer and dancing, singing Disney characters.

With the exception of the aforementioned fancy pants party, I’ve considered all of these options. Many moms in my stroller-pushing set already had the hand-addressed invites in the mail by now. Not me. I’m pretty sure I’ll fire off a text to give folks a heads-up and then use Evite to spill the details.

But details on what? I’ve even looked to Logan for ideas. He told me he wanted candles. OK. That I can do. Beyond that? I don’t know.

And why do I care so much? Is it because I want it to be something he remembers? Kinda. After all I still remember my 5th birthday party at McDonald’s, which to me was THE best birthday. Is it because I want to impress my friends with a swanky kiddie soirée? Nah, those kind of people aren’t my friends.

I think it largely stems from this exhausting need to have everything perfect. I want the perfect house, husband, child, career and all in my life should be perfect, perfect, perfect. Much of that need died when Logan was born, but it occasionally rears it’s ugly head. Thankfully life’s happenings usually knock me back to reality. And reality’s a good place to be.

Hmm. I think I just figured out what we’ll do for Logan’s big day. Hubby can pick one family, I’ll pick another and we’ll have them over for afternoon of pizza and birthday cake. Problem solved.

An iTouch for a Toddler? ARE YOU CRAZY?!?!?!?

That’s what I said to my husband when he told me he wanted to get Logan an iTouch for his 3rd birthday. I repeat THIRD birthday.

Hubby and I are gadget geeks and we ooo and ahhhh over the latest iPods,iPhones, iTouch, iPads and iWonderWhatThey’llThinkOfNexts. And I believe we try to be somewhat sensible when it comes to getting stuff for Logan.

Which is why when hubby asked me if I thought we could get Logan an iTouch I was shocked. A 3-year-old? Really? What’s the point? There’s educational apps, he tells me. What’s wrong with books? (I has a half-a-second from pulling out the ol’ “Back in my day….”) I began to suspect we’re going to buy this iTouch “for Logan,” but it’ll really be for hubby. But he insists, nope, it’s for the half-pint.

So, a $300 toy for a 3 year old? Not sure I can get over that. I mean, I can still hear the sound of his portable DVD player bouncing down the stairs when he chucked it mid-tantrum. (Surprisingly, it survived the nearly fatal fall.)

A few days later, I asked a woman who’s been an educator for years what she thinks of these devices for little ones. To my surprise she says it’s great. In fact she just got back from a conference in Chicago where the iPad was being touted as a wonderful education tool, especially for special needs kids. They’re already in some schools. You can do speech therapy, cover your ABCs and 123s, colors, animals and sounds. Apparently its bright colors and sleek design are ideal for capturing kids’ attention and as far as the iTouch, they’re perfectly sized for little hands. Though she recommended the  youngest of the iGeneration be 5 years old.

Who knew? Even though it’s been almost three years, I’m still adjusting to looking through the world with parental lenses.

iPods, iPads, iTouch for kids… iDon’tKnow, but maybe my hubby isn’t as crazy as I thought. What would you do?