Category: Rhysie Piecie Japanesie


Dear smallest person;

STOP GROWING! Okay, no, don’t do that. Continue being your awesome you. Continue finding the fun and laughter in absolutely everything. I love that you have so much joy. I love how much you love your older siblings. I love seeing you come out with your blazing personality and having your very own opinions that aren’t mirrors of Pynni’s. I love seeing you learn and grow, change and GROW. You just keep getting bigger and bigger.

Muted Silliness

You fell asleep on me a few days ago. You used to do that all the time, but now the napping on Mom is very scarce. I miss it. I miss how warm your little body gets and how you melt into me and almost become a part of me again. I will miss the naps on mommy when they finally do forever stop, but I will grab and hold on tight to the times when they do.

You’ve been in pre-school for the past two years. For most of last year, I thought you would be prepping to head off to Kindergarten, but much to my delight, you will be having Kindergarten at home with me. I feel a bit of sorrow that you won’t have that first day of Kindergarten experience and that you won’t know what it means to ride on the bus. I know you little kids find delight in all that newness, but I’m hoping that being at home and schooling with Mom and Chi and Pynni will make many great memories.

Can't. Contain. The silliness.

I’m looking forward to that. Yes I am.

You are the best younger brother any two kids could as for. No one has such a jolly happy brother as you are. The relationship you have with Pynni is amazing and even though Chi is more than 5 years older than you, you are super special to him, too. The amount of love I see the three of you express toward one another makes my heart expand. It’s really the one thing I KNOW I’ve gotten right.

I’m so glad you’re you, and I’m so glad you’re mine. Happy fifth birthday, Rhysie Piecie Japanesie! I love you!

❤ ~Mom

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Chi at the Farm

Makin' Butter.

It’s an update really. We’re almost finished with this week of school. Tomorrow is Thursday, and we’re going on a field trip to Vollmer Farm. The preschool Pieces attends goes every year, so I have been to the Farm every fall since 2005 (plus, we participated in their CSA. It was excellent! I highly recommend this!). This year I’m taking the students at Lamp Post Academy and the assistant principal (Hubs). We will tag along on the tours Pieces’ class is going on. The weather has been glorious, and looks to cooperate.

That means that Friday is our last day of school this week. So far? Changing the schedule around has helped tremendously, so has adding fun and games.

The corn pit. It's corn kernels. A pit of them. And the kids think it's Mecca.

I’ve also started creating my own questions for Chi’s reading comprehension.

Pieces has sort of a thing for Pumpkins. He talks about them endlessly and can sense them within a quarter mile. It's like Spidy Sense, only without all that pesky responsibility.

We used a published workbook for the last book he read, Stuart Little, and I was unimpressed. What I learned from that experience is what types of questions Chi is capable of answering and how difficult I can make them. I’ve also found this website, Book Adventure, where I can assign Chi books to read (I registered as a school AND a teacher) and then I can assign him quizzes to take and book reports to write. I’m excited to see it in action.

So there you are. There was just a hint of Pynni obtuseness on Monday, but as the week has progressed, she has settled into the rhythm and seems to be more at ease in our little classroom.

And so have I.

That Corn Pit? Wears them out. They ALWAYS sleep on the way home.

Lamp Post Academy

We just wrapped up our second week of homeschool at Lamp Post Academy and I’ve learned a few things.

    1. Mornings are the best time for school because the kids are more alert and their attention spans seem longer.
    2. Chi has some sort of mental block with doing math problems when they are presented to him in 10 rows of 10.
    3. Pynni is much more advanced in mathematics than Saxon starts out in the First Grade year. Today was day 8 of school and Pynni completed Lesson 26 today. I think she is still beyond a lot of what we’re doing, but Saxon gradually introduces new concepts and spends a lot of time reviewing previous concepts, so when the book started in with addition, I stopped jumping ahead.
    4. Pynni is too far advanced in reading to be taught side by side with Pieces, so I have Pieces stay upstairs, which he hates when Pynni is downstairs with me. I have been able to move Pynni forward by 30 lessons because she knows all her letters and their sounds.
    5. I cannot effectively teach Chi and Pynni math, writing, grammar, and reading simultaneously. For example: I was trying to teach them math at the same time by giving Chi his warm-up worksheet and then doing the lesson of the day with Pynni. Then, while Pynni works on her daily worksheet, I do the daily lesson with Chi. Problem: Chi can’t pay attention when there is too much going on in the room and his noise canceling headphones do not help. With writing and grammar and reading, Chi is too advanced and answering questions based on a narrated passage is something Pynni is just learning to do while Chi can answer those questions with detail and extrapolation in complete sentences.
    6. Pynni was taught to memorize sight words in Kindergarten and is struggling with phonics, but she is actually able to read some Dr. Seuss books only 8 days into school that she couldn’t have read before.
    7. I have come up against the “I-don’t-knows” from Pynni that her subs last year must have encountered. She seems to think it’s cute to get the answers wrong a couple of times before getting the right answer. The REALLY irritating thing is that she KNOWS the right answer. I know this because I hear her mutter the correct answer under her breath before she deliberately, and with a coy little smile, answers incorrectly. INFURIATING.
    8. I’ve instituted a positive reinforcement strategy and award them stickers for completing a subject with no-fuss. They turn their sheets of stickers, which they can potentially fill in a week, for prizes. I’ve had to increase the cost of the prizes, otherwise we’ll go broke.
    9. Right now, due to having to teach each child individually to meet Chi’s needs, I teach Pynni math, grammar, writing and reading before bringing the boys downstairs for joint penmanship. Then Pynni and Pieces go upstairs while I do the same with Chi. I may have to alternate kids every other subject because Pynni gets done with the sitting after math. I’ve tried jumping-jacks after each subject to get her more alert, but it is short lived. I’ve tried giving her gum to stimulate her, but she just smacks it and blows bubbles while planning how to incorrectly answer questions. I just don’t know how Chi will tolerate that.
    10. School time with Pynni can be as short as 45 minutes or as long as 2 hours depending on her cooperation and attitude. This fluid time does not suit Chi at all. I’m planning to start with Chi next week and then transition to Pynni. I let you know how it goes.

      Silly to the MAX

    11. I’m having to take deep breaths and practice “raw spaghetti, cooked spaghetti” to be okay with Chi hopping all over the room during school. He IS learning and paying attention. He IS. (“Have patience, have patience, don’t be in such a hurry…” etc. It’s my constant mantra)
    12. Using white boards, and chalkboards makes Chi much happier than having to put pencil to paper.
    13. Pynni has some sort of visual sensitivity. I’ve noticed some signs of this before, but it hasn’t seemed to effect her in broad terms. These past two weeks she has complained of her eyes hurting and she rubs them during school almost constantly. She rarely looks directly at anything that is in writing. She told me it hurts to look at things so I like it sideways. I’m going to talk to her pediatrician about it and she may not be severe enough to need an OT, but I’m going to need to do some reading on it and see if there is anything I can do to help her. Chi’s OT said that visual and auditory sensitivities are the hardest to address with visual being even harder than auditory so there may not be anything except help her learn to cope.
    14. I really can do the school part of the day at any time if I need to.

Well, it’s been fun and frustrating, eye-opening and challenging. We will add the two new language arts next week and after our break in mid-September we will be adding Biology and History. Should be entertaining at the very least.

OH, HAI THERE! Yes, today was the first day at LPA-HS (that’s Lamp Post Academy Home School for you people “not in the know” (and now you are. (in the know))) and not very auspicious, I must say.

First I hurt my back on Thursday. Not a complete reset, but uber super painful, nonetheless. I went to the Chiropractor and he said, “Well it’s too swollen to adjust so ice it and OD on ibuprofen and muscle relaxers whilst not moving and take your anti-inflamatories and don’t DO anything.” So that I did all day Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This really impeded my last minute school day prep, but what are you gonna do?

ON TOP OF THAT. I was sick all day Saturday and Sunday. And today. Not the kind of sick that causes fevers and shivers. Oh NO, not me. I got ill in the general vicinity of the gut (YOU’RE WELCOME) on top of back pains.

The Best.

And I mean that.

With all due derision.

So the back gets gradually better and I think with an adjustment first thing this morning that I will be better and school will be awesome! ALAS! I pulled my back out in the SHOWER. WASHING MY HAIR. True story.

So I get iced and ibuprofened (no muscle relaxers for parents in charge, I’m afraid) and adjusted. I felt marginally better than before the adjustment, but LOADS better than Thursday so…that’s a plus. Now it’s time for school.

Well, it was the first day. Please keep that in mind.

We did our four subjects. The math was totally chaotic, but we got it done. Chi melted at the sight of the “warm up” sheet which was 100 addition problems. Real simple stuff like 7+5 and 3+4. And, no, I didn’t spring it on him. I’ve shown him what to expect on a couple of occasions. Anyway. He completed 12 of those 100 in 15 minutes all while moaning and chirruping. Well, I guess it’s all new and even with all the prep work, it’s still unfamiliar and still, somehow, unexpected.

Pynni was  a little affronted at her math because it was an “introduction to math” at least the Saxon method, and the first several weeks are all review. We won’t be getting into anything she is unfamiliar with until November, maybe. I think she was sad that it wasn’t hard. She kept looking at me with this incredulous expression on her face when I asked her what month it was and what year it was…couldn’t I see that it was written, by ME, on the page I was pointing to? HA! We may move a little faster in the math for a bit.

Then we did the Writing with Ease part. It was fast, but Chi was really uninterested in writing so he crammed all his words all together in about a .75″ square space (That’s an actual calculation. I measured and multiplied.) and skipped the punctuation altogether. Pynni copied the sentence slowly but precisely, letter for letter, so that all the letters were nicely formed and evenly spaced. There were no individual words to speak of. I had to swallow the laugh that bubbled up at the disparity.

All through that, Pieces was wondering what he could possibly put in his folder. Out loud. Continuously.

So we did penmanship next. It was simple exercises of small pencil markings today and took all of 5 minutes. You can barely tell Chi was holding a pencil in his hand his markings are so light. He flopped and moaned, but finished. Pieces got bored of coloring everything blue in about half a second, but I was able to urge him on to the end. Pynni was last to finish and followed all the instructions exactly.

Then we did reading. Chi is reading Stuart Little first and he was upset by the questions he had to answer at the end of the chapter. So he answered the questions before reading the chapter and then announced that he was done and would read the chapter later. I told him that he was supposed to read and then answer or answer the questions as he read, but he had to read the whole chapter. He did, but he wasn’t happy. Pynni and Pieces did some phonics exercises with me and they enjoyed themselves tremendously.

But in the end? They’ve done nothing but rave about “our doing school” and “learning from Mom.” Chi even sat down and did the lesson work this evening without any issues and worked easily with me to rewrite his reading comp answers legibly and in complete sentences. With me doing the writing, of course.

It is official. I sent in my notice of intent (NOI) to open a homeschool in the state of North Carolina and they responded to let me know they’d gotten it. Got that? I didn’t have to ask. I tell them what I’m going to do and I do it. So far? That’s my favorite part.

To successfully file a “NOI” one must pick a name for your school. The name needs to be something that won’t look stupid on your kids’ high school transcripts, if you go that far. So no Mac-n-Cheese High or Hogwarts School. If you pick a name that is the same as an existing homeschool, your name will be tacked onto the end of it. It could end up being New Life School Johnson or Raleigh Academy McGregor (which goes back to the whole stupid name thing) because they tack your last name on to the school if there are duplicates (thank god, there’s a list). So I researched school names and checked against both stupidity and the list of existing schools.

Lamp Post Academy

I picked Lamp Post Academy. Lamp Post because one of my favorite childhood book series is The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. I like the imagery of a lamp post in the forest for no particular reason. I like the ping on the imagination and the memories it conjures. I like the idea that Lamp Post is a light in the darkness, illuminating your path, and in this case, it is the illumination of knowledge on the darkness of ignorance. We will be learning things at LPA. I’m excited to start.

I will not be “unschooling” as the trend in homeschooling seems to be. Our day will be structured and our curriculum specific. I will be catering to the needs of my Aspie (the schedule being one of the things) and throwing in fun to keep them interested. Our day will be fairly short compared to public school, but probably longer than it will be when they get older and can do a little more independent work. Pynni will be the most labor intensive since she is in the first grade and will be needing me to work very closely with her. In the beginning weeks, maybe as long as the first year, I will be doing a great deal of hand holding for Chi. In the end, my hope is that he becomes accustomed to my schedule and will crunch through the subjects one after the other without a whole lot of redirect from me (on good days).

I have all of my curriculum picked out and I’m going to start out with just the basics to get the feel of this homeschool thing and then add things like science and history and foreign languages in stages as we get more comfortable with the process. More about all that later.

We start on August 22. I know I said earlier that we were going to start after our vacation this summer, but I came to realize pretty quickly that I just wasn’t going to have the time to get completely prepared to start by then and that it would be better for Chi and Pynni if we started after Kip and Mae go back to their mom’s. So the 22nd it is.

Pieces doesn’t start preschool until after Labor Day so I will be starting out thin in the subjects we cover for the first two weeks.

I’m going to start with Math, penmanship, writing and reading. The math is going to be the most difficult to teach because of the breadth of the divide between what Pynni will be learning and what Chi will be learning and how much direction they are both going to require from me. The penmanship will be taught to all three of my kids at one time. I’m starting some gross motor skill reprogramming with Chi and I’m just going to include the two smaller ones in these exercises. It won’t hurt them and might help them in the end. The writing is a program I’m going to do to help teach Chi that writing isn’t so scary. I’ve talked about it before here. I can teach Chi and Pynni side by side at first, but I’m thinking Chi will sprint through the early levels where Pynni will be taking her time. Then reading is kind of a gimme. Chi is advanced enough that he is going to be given chapter books to read and then a worksheet to complete after a couple of chapters. I will be teaching Pynni to read so I figure I will just teach Pieces alongside her. If it turns out that Pynni is further along than Pieces can keep up, then I will divide and conquer in that manner.

Once Pieces goes to preschool, I will add grammar and vocab, spelling and typing. Wish me luck!

Notice the beautimous hair.

Mae says, “Aunt Beo, Pieces is upset.”
I say, “Oh really? Why?”
Mae says, “I told him his hair was pretty and he ran away.”
I go looking for Pieces. I didn’t have to go far. He was just around the corner with his hands over his face, whimpering a little.
I tell Mae, who is next to me, “No worries. His hair is pretty.”
Pieces squeals a little at that, but I leave it alone.
As I’m walking away, I hear Mae say, “I mean that your hair is awesome, Pieces.”
Pynni says, “Awesome like Sonic.

Awesome like Sonic AND Mario.”

Pynni, Mae, Chi, and Pieces

Well, we are in the home stretch. School for my elementary kids ends on June 10. (Pieces’ last day of school was last Thursday) We’ve successfully navigated this year and it was a hard row to hoe, but every obstacle brings a learning experience and I can only hope that I’ve learned…something. Patience? One can hope.

Chi finished the EOG’s and was none the worse for wear. AND HE PASSED!  He got 3 out of a possible 4 on the reading and combined math tests with 2 requiring a retest and 1 meaning “sorry there is no hope for you”. So, yay! He has, since, struggled with the changes in his daily schedule because, well, it’s the end of the year and there’s retesting for those who got a 2 which puts all the kids who passed in different classrooms where they have to be quiet. (and in case you forgot? Chi is almost NEVER quite, during sleep included.) Still. It’s close to the end and I can’t help but breathe a giant sigh of relief.

Both of my kids have moved on to the next level. I will be teaching it to them. I’ve discovered that it’s possible to be so excited about something you can’t sit still and paralyzed with a sick fear of making the wrong decision all at the same time.

Happy Birthday!

April is a busy month. Two of my three kids were born in April almost exactly two weeks apart. Pieces turned FOUR on the fifth and today is Pynni Pie’s SIXTH! My babies aren’t babies anymore and I’m not quite sure what to do with that.

These two are awesome. They are awesome individually and they are awesome together. They are like peas and carrots or peanut butter and jelly. They just go together.

Pynni came into my life during some of the most trying times with her older brother, Chi. I wanted another baby and we’d planned and prepared for her, but I was scared to death that my second child was going to be as hard as my first, and I’m not talking about labor.

"Chi and Pie"

She was a baby that slept almost all of the time until she was about 5 weeks old, and by that time she was close to
sleeping through the night and not needing to eat every couple of hours. When she was awake, she was smiling, then laughing, then laughing and smiling and clapping. She did almost nothing early. She was content to just be. She had this calming effect on me. I had struggled mightily with post-partem depression with Chi and was still dealing with depression throughout my pregnancy. After she was born, it was like this light had been born inside of her that banished all the darkness. She even helped calm Chi. He was enamored of her.

MY BABY!

Then Pieces came along when Pynni wasn’t much more than a baby herself. I worried that she would be jealous and that I wouldn’t be able to spend as much time with her one on one as I otherwise would have. Turns out that Pieces is the perfect little brother for her and she was DELIGHTED to have a baby. In fact, it was all I could do to keep her out of his face. She wanted to hold him and kiss on him and poke at him non-stop. Good thing he’s WAAAAAY easy going. (Chi, I think, would like it if we could have a new brother or sister every couple of years. He was crushed when I told him that couldn’t be so.)

So, today we celebrate the birth of Wynni. We will make cake and open gifts and let her pick the meals (oh, god, I am NOT looking forward to that!). We will sing and blow out candles and play with new toys and probably watch a new movie. (it’s spring break so we have ALL DAY!)

I have one. My two youngest, collectively known as the “Little Ones” (although Pynni and her older brother are collectively the “Big kids” Oh the joys of being the middle child, I guess) have birthdays exactly two weeks apart.

I used to have the energy to throw these elaborate birthday parties where I made all the decorations and food stuffs from scratch. Not so much anymore, but as I revisit the past, I get all filled with ideas.

Cheeeese

Right. For all three of the birthday’s since Pieces was born, we’ve had combined birthday parties. It’s just easier and so long as there are balloons, Pieces could care less if the party is themed in pink and flowers. I figured I would continue this tradition of one party until one or the other of them requested a separate party. There is always one weekend between their birthdays and that’s when we have it. Plus, Easter tends to fall on the weekend nearest Pynni’s birthday and that’s kind of a crap weekend to have a party.

So, I had considered separating their parties this year because I wanted to take Pynni and a few of her friends to a ceramics shop and paint pottery to have it fired. She likes creating things and this seemed right up her alley, and while Pieces would probably enjoy the painting, it would be too expensive to allow both of them to invite friends separately (this is the first year, Pieces will have friends of his own since it’s his first year in preschool) . Then there is the image I have of a room full of three year olds (some of them four by now) painting on pottery. EEK! So I was thinking of doing a small more traditional style party at my house for Pieces.

Well, I got a letter from the Pynni’s teacher requesting that if the kids wanted to invite the WHOLE class they were welcome to send invitations to school, but if you only wanted to invite a few of the kids, please keep the invitations private, i.e. call them individually. I have a whole SLEW of issues with this, not the least of which is that I don’t KNOW these kids’ parents. I don’t know their last names. It will be interesting to try and get the correct information from Pynni who will have to ask her classmates at school. Which in the end, does the same thing the faculty is trying to avoid by forcing me to include all 21 kids in a birthday party I was wanting to include maybe 4 kids in.

Then there is this whole homeschooling thing. It’s looking more and more likely (I’ll just say here that I’m 95% sure I will be homeschooling but Hubs is not so sold on the idea, yet). If that is, in fact, the case, then there will not be classmates to invite next year, so I’ve been tempted to have a party at say “Monkey Joe’s” or “Pump It Up” but their packages are for 25 kids, including the birthday boy/girl. We would be inviting 21 kids from Pynni’s class, 11 from Pieces’ class, my three kids, their two local cousins, and five friends that they don’t go to school with. For those of you with fail math skills, that 42 kids. FOURTY-TWO! (!!!!!1one)

  • I can’t have that many kids in my house at one time. I can’t afford (or don’t want to afford) pulling off two specialized, off location, parties.
  • I have considered having the off location one for Pynni at one of the two aforementioned places and sticking with the small ‘at home’ party for Pieces.
  • I have considered inviting everyone and counting on the fact that at least 10% of them won’t come, but that leaves 38 kids which is still way more than 25. Heck, even if 20% didn’t come that’s still 7 more than the allotted number and these places charge more PER KID. EEK.
  • I have considered nixing the whole “invite the whole class” deal in favor of just having kids we know come and then doing a smaller specialized party with more focus on the two birthday kids.
  • If I do that, should I just revert to the first idea? Ceramics and balloons?
  • OR I could do a Monkey Joe’s thing for Pieces and a ceramics thing for Pynni. Hmmm.
  • Or I could just duct tape them to their beds and pretend they aren’t a year older.

Sure-sure. You’re right, that would not be earning me Mother of the Year. Okay, so any suggestions would be hawt and soon. I have to get this planned and done SOON. (not soon-ish)

The next question is:

  • cake?
  • cupcakes?
  • homemade?
  • store-bought?
  • Harris Teeter?
  • Whole Foods?

ALRIGHT! So that’s more than one question.

I had this dream that I would one day design interiors. That was a bit of a step down from the dream of designing the actual structure, but I’m a realist (not really) and I try to maintain attainable goals (again, not really). I like design. I like creating. I have ALWAYS wanted to be an architect or a writer (but who was I kidding, WRITING? As a career? LAUGHABLE). As a full-time Mom, the time for becoming an architect and all the accompanying years of career building are behind me. I’m cool with that (well, NOW I’m cool with that). So I thought, I’ll be an interior designer (maybe a decorator, too). The schooling is less grueling. I could go into business for myself. Yay!

Okay, so the reality is, I don’t know when I will get back to school.

**Aside**  I will, though, I do come from a long line of professional students. My maternal grandmother went to college after retiring. Because she wanted to. My Mom’s oldest sister went back to school to become a teacher, then an RN, then she got her bachelors in nursing, then she got her master’s. Now she’s a nurse practitioner. My mother’s other older sister went back to college after her daughter left home and became a CPA. Then a couple of years later she went back to Law school and became an attorney. So, I shrug and think that I will be going back to school some day, too.

Kids in SPAAAAACE. Actual space may vary.

So I started putting my creative energies into elaborate birthday parties.

KIDS IN SPAAAAACE!

The most elaborate was a space party for Chi in which I lined the walls with black plastic and spray painted it like star dust. Made a sun out of my dining room light fixture and made both papier mache and cake planets to be hung from the ceiling, and in the case of the cakes, placed at differing heights on the table. I made cardboard robots and made up other various space games. It was basically a role-playing birthday party where we were on a space mission to save the planet earth and the games were what we had to do to accomplish that. Right.

One-up Mushroom

Gamer's Delight

I’ve done a Mario Party complete with the GameCube game, a Mario (Chi), a Luigi (Chi’s Friend Taz), and a Princess Peach (Chi’s cousin Abshie), a one-up mushroom (cause he was +1), and a Shine Sprite (to jump at and gather). All the costumes, props and food were homemade. A birthday party that was followed a year later by a Gamer’s Delight birthday party at Chuck-E Cheese complete with a GBA cake (GameBoy Advance) and gifts (read Nintendo DS Lite) of the same theme.

Easter Egg Hunt Party

Pynni has had an Easter Egg Hunt birthday party complete with chocolate bunnies (which I bought), Easter Egg shaped cake, Easter Egg Hunt, Easter Grass, Easter Basket Gift bags, and lots of pastels.

Flower Garden Tea Party

Her next birthday party was a Flower Garden Tea Party. I just love spring and couldn’t help but integrate that into a party for her. She got a small table and chairs that year along with a tea set.
So we let her open her presents a day early in order to have the things we needed for the party.

High Tea for Three for a Two year old

This party was only moderately less elaborate than the space party for Chi (and it was in the same year, I believe). This party had a flower garden cake, little mum cakes for the tea party, hot chocolate ‘tea’, hand stamped table cloths, hand stamped napkins, hand decorated cups, hand made invitations, and homemade flower arrangements. It was a ton of fun and she still talks about this party that celebrated her second birthday.

Polka Dots and Stripes forever (less the stripes)

This was followed by the first time I did a joint party for a boy and a girl. Pieces and Pynni have birthdays that are two weeks apart. Exactly. I decided I could put all my efforts into one party until they request a separate celebration. Pieces only really cares that balloons are present at whatever party is for him.

Polka Dot Dance Party

The first joint party was one I called Polka Dots and Stripes Forever! (without the stripes) The polka dots were HARD. It was SOOOO time consuming to cut out tons of individual circles to tape up all over my first floor for the polka dots. Actually putting stripes on things was beyond me at that point. Pieces wore a striped outfit and I think there was some striped wrapping paper, other than that? No stripes, but there were polka dots EVERYWHERE! It was a blast.

These birthdays have, sadly, been followed by not much to compare. I have struggled with some health issues that have nullified the desire to plan for months to create these parties that stress me out to the point that I do not enjoy them one little bit.

We’ve done some simpler things, renting a blow-up jump house, renting a helium tank and filling the first floor with balloons and laughing until we couldn’t stand anymore by breathing in the helium and having silly conversations, trips to arcades, and a birthday at the Little Gym. Chi never really enjoyed any of  his parties because they were getting WAY too busy and he really hates to be the center of attention. So we’ve scaled back.

I’m thinking through all of this because it’s time to plan another party and a friend of mine posted some pics of her youngest’s recent birthday party. It seemed so simple and so fun and I would like to get back to some of the types of parties I used to throw.

In retrospect, I have to concentrate to remember the stress because looking at the pictures from those parties, all I see is fun. Joy. Celebration.

Well, we’ll see if I have the energy for something more extravagant this year, but I have to decide soon, cause the time for the party is nigh.