You’ve got to check out my sidebar. JuiceBoxJungle has a brand new widget that lets you, among other things, send an ecard to a friend right from this blog (click around and check it out). They also have a cool new sponsor, Paper Culture, a modern, eco-friendly premium stationary company that will actually address, message and mail your cards for free. AND, Paper Culture is offering 30% off to my readers for a limited time (promo code SAVE30NOW). They've asked - and sponsored - me to talk about the most memorable kid event I've ever been to. Oh boy. Here goes:
Kids parties are funny things. As moms, we complain about the extravagant parties other parent throw for their children, even their teeny babies. We kvetch on the expense, the logistical nightmares, and the spoiled kids. Yet, what do we do but feed the beast. Not only do we throw our own fancy parties, but it seems to me we don’t want our kids going to parties that aren’t a lesson in excess either. Let me explain.
Over the years, we’ve thrown some fairly expensive parties for my son. Nathan had a pizza party at a nice restaurant for both parents and kids followed by going to watch a college basketball game. The party included University of Colorado Buffalo themed invites and cake made by yours truly, lots of pizza, beer for the adults, nice goody bags and snacks at the game. Another year, we had a party for most of Nathan’s classmates and their siblings at a local indoor bouncy castle place. Of course, there was the inevitable party at Chuck E Cheese, too, complete with pizza, cool goodie bags, extra game coins, and a golf cake, which I also made.
All these parties were well attended since parents were more than happy to let us treat their children to such fun activities.
Have the fall/winter birthday party blues at your house? Are you stuck renting a room at the rec center or heading over to Chuck E Cheese? Or maybe you’re brave enough to have the entire second grade over to your house to decorate cupcakes?
Or maybe you’re one of those lucky moms who gave birth in the summer and just send everyone out to play in the back yard at your kids’ parties? (I'm so envious!)
Each year when we put up the Christmas tree, we have to rearrange things, and move the table with all the board games on it to the other side of the living room. Every year this gets to be more of a chore because we have an amazing selection of family games.
There are the traditional games like dominos, backgammon, chess, checkers, and cribbage. Classic board games like Trouble, Monopoly, Scrabble, and Operation. Silly games like Go Wake Up Daddy and the Spongebob Squarepants version of Life. We also have several card like old maid, go fish, and several versions of Uno. Of course, there are the little kid games like Candy Land, Hi Ho Cherry-O, Shoots and Ladders, which my five-year-old daughter, Lucie, still likes to play.
The games are played quite often when one of the grandmothers visit. Nathan attends chess club once a week, and a mini cribbage or chess board is always taken camping. I come from a family of old school gamers. Back in the ‘70s my mom and her friends played a lot of backgammon, which I learned by watching them. My dad played poker occasionally, and instead of reading a book, we’d play gin rummy before bedtime. My mom plays bridge at least once a week, and when her husband isn’t playing bridge with her, he’s playing poker with friends.
So what game does my family break out on Thanksgiving or Christmas day? PUZZLES!
Slightly worse for wear, I made it through NaBloPoMo ‘08. For the uninitiated, NaBloPoMo is National Blog Posting Month, which started as a response to NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, a yearly November activity. NaBloPoMo goes on every month with a new theme, but I’ve only done it in November.
I posted here at A Mama’s Rant for 30 days straight. Most of the posts were good, and some were, shall I say, total filler. Gack!
Since I have four blogs, three at which I post at fairly frequently, I believe I did a darn good job getting something out on a daily basis that was a little bit interesting or funny - including the duct tape post I managed to squeeze out while the kids waited in the car for me to drive them to karate.
Glad it’s over though I have so many reviews of products for the holiday shopping season that I’ll continue to blog almost every day for a few more weeks.
It’s a few hours before we’re getting the turkey in the smoker and the three Thanksgiving crockpot recipes going. During this brief respite – I’ve been cooking since yesterday afternoon - I have time to share with you what I’m most thankful for this year.
Yes, there is family and there are friends to be thankful for - that goes without saying. I’m also thankful for my children’s wonderful teachers and school community and grateful that the current board and administration hasn’t messed up the original vision of the school founders – of which I am one – too much.
I’m thankful that Barack Obama was elected and that he’s bringing an awesome First Lady and two adorable kids with him to the White House. I see change as a good thing even though we’ll have to go through some difficult growing pains.
Since we’re on the verge of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, I thought I’d include some rather interesting findings from the TodaysMama.com 2008 Holiday Economic Survey.
85% of moms surveyed plan to curb their holiday spending this year. 14% plan to cut holiday spending by an astonishing 75%, 33% will cut spending by 50%, 23% will cut spending by 25%, and 15% will cut spending by 10%. Only 9% of respondents said they would not be cutting spending at all this year.
I told Nathan yesterday that even though everything is fine financially with our family, knock on wood, his dad and I will be spending money fixing up the house this year rather than getting each other more stuff.
Now I just have to break the news to my husband. Honestly hun, do you need more hunting/fishing/bowling/golf gear? (I’m sure he’ll be emailing me this answer: “YES!”)
63% of moms indicated they would not be shopping on Black Friday this year.
I’m not participating. However, I’ve only shopped once on Black Friday and thought it was a waste of my time. I prefer shopping online or shopping sales throughout the year and hiding the presents.
89% of survey respondents plan to do at least some of their holiday shopping online this year.
Done, I hope, with enough time for Amazon to get everything to me in time.