Sunday, February 22, 2015

Favorite Hotel

So driving six hours to the city and staying at a hotel for three nights may sound a little extreme for an eighth birthday party.  The question that was thrown at me a couple of times was something like... "if this is what you do for number eight, what's going to happen for nine?"  Funny thing is, I never really think that far ahead.  Who knows what will happen for number nine, I'll think more about it 11 months from now.  And honestly, we hyped up that we were going to the city to our favorite hotel for Callie's birthday, but really, us grown ups were just looking for a reason to get away from the routine of winter for a couple of days.  Somehow, things just fell into place and our good friends and a total of eight kids were able to meet up six hours from our home in the name of an eight year old birthday party!

The weekend was pretty much all about the kids having fun.  Hours and hours in the hotel pool.  A mini shopping spree for the birthday girl which included a new minky outfit that she walked out of the store wearing and continued to wear for the rest of the weekend.  Gormet dining at Fuddruckers.  Our first experience at an arcade.  And the ever delightful Sponge Bob movie.  Despite all things kid related, weathering a snowstorm, and a dislocated shoulder on the waterslide, the parents of these eight children also had a wonderful time on this mid-winter getaway.

After a busy day of shopping, watersliding, supper and the noisy arcade, the eight kids were lounging on hotel beds all plugged into some type of technology.  The adults enjoyed each others company nearby with a cocktail or two.  We looked at the kids and the multiple iPads each playing a different movie and we had one of those "when we were kids"  conversations that make us sound like old people.  "What did we do in hotel rooms when we were kids, with no iPad movies watch or games to play?"  We tried to answer that question but none of us could even remember going to a hotel as a kid for no real reason.    Hotels visits were reserved for real purposes, like a wedding or an overnight stop on your way to your real destination.  We looked at the kids again and thought about how much fun they had had that day.  We had another drink and decided that it doesn't really matter that their childhoods will be different from ours. 

The only thing that really mattered was that awesome memories were made.

Friday, February 13, 2015


About a month ago, after packing Christmas away into the storage room, I asked Callie what kind of birthday party she wanted to have this year.  I was looking to get started on my next project.  Planning, cutting, pasting, and surfing Pinterest, I was ready to create whatever it was she asked for.
Her response was to me was , "you can just pick, mom". 
I thought about her response for a few minutes.  I didn't want to "just pick" something for her.  For as much as I love to decorate and plan the details, the real joy comes from trying to create whatever her mind can imagine.  I could have picked something.  I had lots of ideas that I'm sure she would have loved.  But instead of suggesting a magic show party or a Mexican party, I asked if there was something she wanted to do instead of having a party to celebrate her birthday.  And to that she responded, "like what, mom"?
"Maybe you want to go somewhere or do something special," I said.  I didn't really have anything in mind.  This wasn't the conversation I was expecting to have but it was taking an interesting turn.  Then she asked, "can we go to my favorite hotel for my birthday"? 
After several verifications and "you're sure you don't want a party" confirmations, she celebrated her 8th birthday with a low key family supper and a couple close friends. Ultimately, deciding to hold out for a trip to her favorite hotel as her "real" party. 

On being eight...

You have changed and grown so much in a year.  You have a new smile filled with grown up teeth.  You have added inches to your height and length to your curls.  Your nose is lightly sprinkled with freckles. 

Lately you can be found on You Tube searching videos of kid's singing, young gymnasts, anacondas, mermaids, Just Dance, One Direction,and iCarley.  Your recently viewed list on Netflix shows Dear Dumb Diary and Judy Moody and your TV show of choice these days is Kate plus Eight. 

When you're not tied up with technology, you're doing handstands and cartwheels every chance you get.  You're reading chapter books, writing stories, loving your Jenna and McKenna dolls, singing to the Kids Bops, calling Grandma on the phone, driving the skidoo, going to work with dad, making videos and rainbow loom bracelets.

You tell me your favorite color is blue and your favorite supper is Kraft Dinner and hot dogs.  You no longer order a Happy Meal at McDonalds and you always choose iced tea. 
Your style continues to be comfy pants and graphic tees and you have not waivered from your two pony tails hairstyle covered by a hat.
You  love gymnastics.  You like swimming and piano lessons but you don't like the practicing part so much.  You prefer the company of a few friends over large groups.  You are asking grown up questions and starting to see that the world isn't so black and white but instead multiple shades of grey.  You love Ozzy and would like to have a pet of your own.  You have a fascination with snakes and reptiles but I can guarantee we won't be having any kind of pet that involves mice as food!

You love your sister.  You show your love by taking her stuff, making her scream, and chasing her around the house.  You always want to take care of her and do stuff for her and teach her stuff but she doesn't always let you.  You love your mama.  We have secret snuggle time before little sister wakes up.  You make me coffee and ask me how to spell words.  You love your dad.  You like to play games with him and help him wash the truck.  You like to ride your scooter around the shop while he works.  You love all of us and we love you too... all the way to the moon.

Happy Eighth Birthday.