in june 2010, our lives got turned upside down in the best possible way: the birth of our awesome kiddo, john. in october 2013, brother charlie charged into our life to change the status quo again. and june 2016 brought us brother ben to round out our trio.

i'm proud to have "mom" at the top of the list of titles on my resume, but i'm also still a hard-working professional. how does a working mom juggle work and family? ride along with me and see if i can figure it out!

Monday, October 1, 2012

from now on i buy dinosaurs

the renowned artist, mr. chuck e. cheese, was
kind enough to sketch john and myself.

john was invited to not one but two birthday parties this past weekend. talk about being in demand! he's apparently quite a hit in the two to three year old set.

once john had accepted the invitations (without hesitation - these are his FRIENDS, after all!), the next step was procuring presents. it is remarkably challenging to pick out a birthday present for a toddler you don't know well. i received all kinds of advice. "you know what john likes, buy something he would want!" or, "you can't go wrong with elmo." or "pick something low-key, like puzzles." the only certainty: nothing that makes electronic noise of any kind.

so our family field-tripped to toys 'r' us friday night. we wandered the aisles for what seemed like days. thomas the really useful engine, you say? good luck finding ANYTHING under $20. how about sesame street? there ARE some less expensive toys, but let's just say they seem VERY less expensive. branded anything seems to be out, plus i just know in my heart that these two boys will receive elmo everything with a side of choo choo trains and i just want to find something a little ... different.

and then. and THEN. we found the dinosaurs. and i flashbacked to my own childhood, running around the house roaring with my dinosaurs in hand. and these were BIG dinosaurs, and they weren't too expensive, but they seemed reasonably sturdy and well-made. then i noticed they were on sale. and i said, "bingo." (i really did say that out loud. i never claimed to be cool.)

so, this is my vow: i will only buy dinosaurs as birthday presents from now on. so if your child is one who john is lucky enough to call his friend, be looking for a t-rex, stegosaurus, or other prehistoric monster next birthday party.

*  *  *

the parties themselves were really pretty awesome. the one on saturday was at a jumphouse place that contained three huge jumphouses, including two that had slides on them. at first, the kiddos were a little hesitant, but eventually they dove right in. and i am SO proud of my little monkey, who was one of the smallest kids there but quickly shed his fear and scaled the tall tall ladders to yell "wheeeee" as he slid down the slides. (and every time he got to the bottom, he'd find me and say, "i like that!")

here's a little video evidence:



and on sunday, we ventured out to chuck e. cheese. i won't pretend that mom is a big fan of that place - in fact, i was pretty pleased when i described it to a friend of mine as a seizure wrapped in a migraine served with a side of claustrophobia. but i will say this: the kids love it. and john had a blast. he was ecstatic to see chuck e. cheese, anxious to ride on every animatronic truck or train, exuberant to push buttons on video games (whether they were working or not), and thrilled to see that he could have more "happy birthday cake."

he was asleep before we left the parking lot.

thanks to the parents of "g" and "a" for a rollicking good time!

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