Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Sink Or Swim?

The Princess celebrated her 7th birthday last Friday with an 'Under the Sea' birthday party. She doesn't really turn 7 until this Friday, but due to scheduling complications the 'friend' party was held last week.

As usual, I did my best to try and create a super fun party because it's well, my 'thing'. I was left with a feeling of emptiness however, due mostly to the brat-i-ness factor of the girls that attended. The King and I were shocked at the behavior and attitudes that were shown throughout the party. We always expect a few 'incidents' of hurt feelings, etc, but this was beyond that. I don't think any explanation that I could give would accurately portray what we witnessed that day, but do you remember Junior High? Think of the very worst experience you had there involving girls, and this party was probably pretty similar.

A few people I've spoken to in detail about the party suggested only inviting a few girls next year. That is a possibility - I won't deny it. I think the invite aspect of the party definitely comes from my experiences as a child - being the child that wasn't included, or experiencing the 'back lash' from NOT inviting someone to my party. The kids that The Princess attends school with this year, are likely the same classmates she will have every year until she reaches Junior High. There is very little turnover, and being that there is only one class, the kids don't get mixed up like they might from year to year in a traditional school. It just felt right to include everyone.

I think there was a benefit to having her party at our church last year - there wasn't anything to distract the kids from the party activities. You did the activities or you sat on the sidelines and watched. We had one little girl who kept insisting that she was going to go upstairs to play with the toys (it never happened). We had other children who refused to play certain games because they would rather swing (we do have an awesome swingset). I meant to take down the swings before the party started so it wouldn't be a distraction, but I forgot. Mental note for next year!

I also think there was a huge benefit in having my brother take all the pictures last year... mostly being that I didn't have to worry about it. My Mom offered to take the pictures, but she couldn't seem to work the camera. That left The King and I in charge of pictures in addition to the rest of the party details. Ugh. We did get some cute shots, but it would've been nice not to have to worry about it.

I suppose you would really like more of the party details other than what went right and what went wrong, and I suppose I would also like to document them... but... it's going to have to wait a little bit longer. Sorry! I am still working up the strength to relive it. :)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

What's In A Name?

I had to come and jot this down really quick, because it made me giggle.

I was helping The Dragon clean her room, and we were arranging a small pile of dolls. She refers to her 'Newborn Cabbage Patch Kid' as 'The Dragon' <-- insert her real name here. She then proceeded to tell me that her 'big' Cabbage Patch Kid is named Sally. And her 'baby' Cabbage Patch Kid is 'Funny' because she has two teeth and The Dragon thinks she looks funny. Her 'regular' dolls name, however, takes the cake. Her name is 'Blue Pacifier.' I think you know why.

She then proceeded to tell me that she hopes I remember "that name you keep calling me" (this is in referral to her REAL name - like she has some other name that we are supposed to be calling her) because she likes it. I told her that OF COURSE I would remember it, but The Dragon proceeded to tell me that I don't always remember it because sometimes I call her "The Princess." Point taken.

Wonders of Wonders...

Miracles of Miracles... I am posting almost only because this makes day FOUR of posting in a row. I'm on a roll, and well, it would be good to keep it going.

The Princess' birthday party is tomorrow (her actual birthday isn't until next week). I am busy with the party preparations - including cleaning my house. Everyone knows I hate that part... but it must be done.

The Princess is very excited, as is The Dragon who wishes that it was her birthday. This party has been driving me nuts because it simply hasn't come together in my head as easily as other parties. I'm not saying that the other parties were easy - I have a lot of fun and some people might say that I go overboard, or that they are extravagant. The King would probably use some other choice words to describe them - though I'm pretty sure that he is secretly pleased with the success of the parties. He likes to watch the girls have fun, and that is the one thing that these parties do accomplish. Anyway, things are finally starting to come together and I daresay that I believe this party will also be a success.

I'm making a test cake today (minus all the decorations) because I am using a recipe I have never used before, and I want to make sure it works. I have had cake disasters before (including baking another cake at the last minute because the first one fell apart), and I'm really not in the mood to deal with that. I would rather spend the time, money, and energy NOW then be stressed out later. I'll be stressed enough trying to decorate it!

Most of the decorations for the party are going up today, minus any balloons. The house is starting to look really cute. I think The Princess will be really excited when she gets home from school. We hung up some shiny spiral things last night, and when she woke up this morning, the only words out of her mouth were "Oh my... Oh my. Oh my." It was quite amusing.

Well, I've got laundry to wash and a bathroom to clean, so that's all for now. With luck, I'll have enough energy tomorrow to post the pictures from the party!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Birthday Party Gifts

When my children are invited to birthday parties, I almost always ask the parents if there is a particular gift that the child is hoping for or would enjoy. I figure that this gives the parents the opportunity to put the 'nix' on any toys that they don't want in their home, plus gives me a lot of ideas so that when I lead my child down the awe-inspiring toy aisle, I can give them some direction.

I know that you love Fairytopia, but don't you think that Matthew would much rather have this really cool Spiderman?

I find it frustrating, however, when parents say, "Oh, she loves anything." Because we all know that ain't true! By gosh, by golly, if I'm going to be passing out the gold coins, I want to buy something that the child actually LIKES. Besides, my child's emotions are at stake here too - she feels bad if her gift is tossed aside because it's soooo last year.

So now it's my turn.

I have had several parents ask me for gift ideas, and I have complied. I have suggested general categories: The Princess loves 'The Littlest Pet Shop' toys, "Barbie", and 'arts and crafts.'

I have suggested add-ons to toys that she already has: The Princess would welcome an additional set to her 'Legos', 'Lincoln Logs', 'Kid K'nex', or her 'Loving Family' dollhouse.

I have even suggested books: The Princess is currently reading a series called "Dragon Slayers Academy" and would enjoy any books starting with #10 or higher.

Yet, I am feeling greedy.

Of course, I always add the obligatory "Oh, she would love ANYTHING!" because, well, it's obligatory. I think it is supposed to lessen the guilt of "I want, I want, I want."

I'm not sure it's working.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary to The King and I.

Nine years today.

I love you.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Am I Having A Blonde Moment?

I've been looking for fish jokes to entertain the kids at The Princess' Party. I found a couple of funny ones, and a whole bunch of lame ones, and a few that were funny, but the kids wouldn't 'get.'

But this one... I just don't get.

Why did the lobster blush?

Ready for the answer? Because the sea weed.

I've been thinking about this for 24 hours now, and the only thing that I can come up with is that 'weed' is supposed to be something along the lines of going potty, as in, I need to go 'wee wee'. Is that what they meant? What do you think?

Whatever, I'm NOT using this one at the party.

My favorite joke? What did the boy octopus say to the girl octopus?


Keep going...

Just a little bit further...

Here ya go: I wanna hold your hand hand hand hand hand hand hand hand.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

What A Long Strange Trip...

Ok, I didn't really go anywhere. But life has been a whirlwind and I am feeling rather overwhelmed and underwhelmed by it all. I know. Oxymoron. Or something.

Currently, The Dragon is sick. I think I'll have to take her to the doctor tomorrow. Strep throat? Maybe.

Two weeks ago? One week ago? I really don't know, I've lost track of time. Anyway, The Princess was sick. She came home from school on a Friday with a fever of about 102. The next day it was up to 104. And stayed there until early Wednesday afternoon. I took her to the doctor on the Sunday that was in the middle of all these fevers, and they did a rapid strep test that came back negative. So they gave her antibiotics anyway with the warning that a) it will do nothing (meaning it's a virus), b) it will solve the problem (it's probably strep), or choice c), the antibiotics will cause a rash which means that she has mono. In the meantime, they sent her throat culture to the lab for further observation. The lab lost her culture. Lovely.

In the meantime, I get an email from her teacher stating that the end of the term is Friday, and ALL homework has to be turned in. I make a trip to the school to get her assignments that she has missed (two days of school so far), and The Princess works hard to get her homework done. When she is sent back to school on Thursday, she receives the homework for Wednesday, and works hard correcting other assignments and finishing these assignments. On Friday, The Princess forgets to turn in all assignments, and comes home from school to tell me that "all the papers in my folder are the same - I must've forgotten to turn them in." I freak out, call her teacher, and her teacher says "I'm way beyond that, it won't affect her grade that much." OK, the conversation was longer than that, but that was the end result. One of grades that "wasn't affected that much" dropped over 20 percent because of these three days of absences. HELLO? Just the week before, we had parent/teacher conferences (SEP's) and she had 104% in this subject area. Nice.

So grades came out last Wednesday. I was deciding whether or not I would fight the grades. I had decided this was a fight I was willing to make, but wanted to view the grades first. In a surprise move from the teacher, she decided to count one of the assignments (the one that caused the huge drop), and her grades were basically the same from last quarter. That, I can live with. There was a small drop in math, but that is a difficult subject for her, and I think it would be hard to prove whether or not these few assignments really made much of a difference. At any rate, I decided there was no need for further action. All is well.

The King felt that this was a good lesson for The Princess. And normally I would agree - particularly if this was an older student. But The Princess is in First Grade and really doesn't understand grades or percentages at all. Telling her that "you didn't get very good grades because you didn't turn in your homework" just doesn't sink in with her. She doesn't get it. Also, this isn't typical behavior for her - she may have missed turning in her homework one other day all year. I'm guessing she was still just a little bit out of the routine due to her recent illness. Also, the other argument I've heard a lot is "It's just first grade! It's not a big deal." This is also true.

I was frustrated because I didn't understand why the teacher didn't give a general reminder to the class, ie. "Make sure you turn in your homework folders" or specifically ask The Princess why her homework wasn't turned in being that she knew I was concerned about getting the assignments done, and knowing that she was absent for three days that week. I'm all for teaching kids responsibility, but again, this is FIRST GRADE.

At any rate, all's well that ends well, and we'll continue onward. While The Princess certainly didn't understand the consequences of not turning in her homework, I think she did catch on to the fact that Mom and Dad weren't very happy (particularly Mom). So maybe a lesson was learned after all.

The party planning is continuing. I broke the budget and am looking for ways to remedy that. I got carried away with the decorations, but most of the stuff I have purchased for that can be returned, so I just need to decide which things I'm going to use, and return the rest. Problem solved.

My house is a mess. I don't like it.

  Graphics by and Copyright © 2001 Point of Focus