Saturday, December 08, 2007

Birthday thoughts

The Adrenaline Junkie turns three years old tomorrow. We had her party today. There were several things that caused me to pause and think. Of course in a whirlwind of activity, there isn't much time to reflect. I'll do my reflecting here.

This is a particularly busy weekend for us. We had a week where we had appointments or other scheduled things to do every single day. We had my parents come to visit partly for the Junkie's birthday and partly to free up Mommy and Daddy to take care of an important appointment without kids in tow. In addition to this, tomorrow is an extra busy Sunday with meetings, practices, church, and packing for an out of town trip we need to make. I feel like I haven't had much time to sit and relax. But, I am proud of the fact that I still managed to finish nearly all the Christmas shopping, make homemade Christmas presents (can't say what... don't want to spoil the surprise!), rake the leaves, and trim Happy Boy's hair (which was getting extra fluffy lately). Oh yes, I've also been fighting a cold that may keep me out of the Christmas musical this year. I don't feel so bad, but my voice is completely unreliable right now and I have a constant cough that is triggered by the slightest tickle in the throat.

With all of that said, If I can make it through the next week, I think I might actually enjoy the holidays. What do I have on schedule next week? Spending the week with my parents (again!) while my husband goes through some job training. The kids will be completely spoiled. They have high hopes of going to a park with swings every day. And the Happy Boy will probably be so motivated by their non-child-proofed home that he will start walking. After that we come home to the Christmas musical final practice and performance.

So with this whirlwind in my midst and anticipated, what were the things that gave me pause today?

1. Kids don't need fancy decorations for a birthday party. We made very festive ones from colored construction paper. spiral streamers hanging from curtain rods, doorways, and ceiling fans had kids bouncing off the walls and gazing in awe (especially when we turned on the ceiling fan).

2. Clothes are packing material to a three year old. The junkie was tossing aside clothes left and right with nary a care. The only one to stop her was the princess dress costume (and the frog blanket that can be worn). But, lest family think that she doesn't care, let me assure them that later she brought me some of those same items she cast away so easily, asking to wear them.

3. When buying for a kid, keep their interests in mind. The Junkie was very pleased by getting pretty dress up things and also the toy cars. Not all girls like assessories and wheels. The Junkie is showing signs of wanting a pink motorcycle when she grows up.

4. Sometimes it is OK to let kids play outside in dirt and mud even when they are wearing dresses. It'll wash out.

5. When kids play make-believe, everything is a toy.

6. Three year olds can skip naptime as long as you feed them dinner before they fall asleep. The Junkie missed dessert at dinner time because she was so tired she was about to fall into her food. She didn't make one complaint about being carried to bed for a nap.

7. It was nice to have a very short and simple agenda for the day. That left a lot of flexibility. People were able to come and go as they needed. We could get things done without a lot of fuss. I highly recommend simple plans for birthday parties (or any party for that matter). The more you put in your plan the less likely you are to stick to the plan, and the less likely people will enjoy themselves.

8. 10 month old babies think that colorful boxes and bags are their rightful possessions and will raise quite a fuss when they are prevented from exploring among them.

9. Wagons with seatbelts and cupholders are extravagant. But we are happy to have it even so.

10. If kids had their way, every day would be a party.

That's all for now. I need to go finish up some laundry and clean the kitchen.

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