Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Sammie is the big 5

Sammie is now 5. So hard to believe. She is such a little person now and so independent. She doesn't take crap from anyone and will tell you exactly like she sees it. She also has the most amazing self esteem. I love how when she is riding her bike she will yell, "I'm awesome". If only I could bottle this up and save it for when she is older and and feeling a little less awesome. Sam is my little buddy and we have so much fun together. She loves to cook and bake and helps whenever she can. She made the cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving and will tell anyone who will listen. She is so much fun. I'm glad I have a little girl.

We had a little family party for her on Sunday night and now our house is overrun with My Little Ponies. Sammie got lots of cute stuff and was thrilled. I'm not sure if we will have a kid party or not. Last year we just invited a bunch of friends over for a tea party lunch (no presents) and the kids had a really good time. We might do something like that this year, but she is starting to make the rounds on the birthday circuit and seeing all the presents the kids get so the the "no gift" thing may not an option. Too bad. Birthdays have really gotten out of hand.
It all started when we were invited to a 3rd bday party for a kid in Ben's 2's class. We didn't know them that well, so when it came to the gift I got something I thought a 3 year old would like, a big thing of bubbles and and scooby doo punching balloon. I know Ben would have loved these and the price was right. I will never forget walking into the house and it was already full of every toy you could think of and next to the massive pile of toys was a pile of probably 30 presents, huge presents. I began to panic, but stood by my guns that we had brought an appropriate gift. When the mom opened our gift, she had a funny look on her face and said, "oh, bubbles. That's nice" in that kind of way were you know she was thinking "are you kidding me?" And so it began...
What I find funny is that I have this conversation all the time with other moms who feel pressure to spend a lot of money on birthday gifts so they don't look cheap. What is up with that?? For one birthday I asked the mom what the kid was into and she said gift cards. Okay then. But I gotta tell ya, for the older kids (especially the ones we don't know that well) we are all about the gift cards. The kids around here have EVERYTHING!! It truly borders on obscene. Anyway, as far as Sammie's "party" I'm not sure what we will do. Every weekend this month is already "booked" with stuff so we may end up with a midweek thing, which might actually be fun. I need to take advantage of the midweek stuff while I can. Tacoma has approved free (used to be $275 a month)all day K for everyone. I'm a little torn on this. I would not have sent Sammie to all day, too expensive and NOT worth the money. I was looking forward to the routine of school everyday, but also looking forward to having some Sam and Mom time too.
It is going to be very weird having both kids gone all day everyday. I hope I can handle the "freedom". Six hours of unstructured Laurie time can be dangerous. I'm hoping to use the time to get in shape, organize the running our house, continue to freelance and volunteer at the school. These are the same goals I had when I quit work to stay home 7 years ago, maybe I will actually get to do it.


Anonymous said...

Happy birthday Sammie.

I hate the whole present pressure thing too.

Free kindergarten sounds amazing. There is nothing like that in Australia; we have to pay for everything.


Kellie said...

We had the same set-up in our town with Kindergarten; you pay a fee for all day (which is actually called half-day-plus-daycare) and half-day is free. Of course, I chose half day. I have a real issue with the government thinking 5-year-olds have to be in school all day. I must clarify and say if you work, and need all-day care, then by all means pay for it. But don't force it upon families!

And I'm with you on the present thing. It's totally out of hand. I actually stock up on gifts at clearance sales and put them away for future parties. That way I always have something and didn't spend a fortune on it!

debra said...

Happy Birthday to Sammie. Five years goes by so fast!

I am right with you about the parties. And here, most people don't have parties at home because their house is 'not big enough' or so they say. What is that about?? So it's very competitive. I have really been trying to buck that trend and so far my daughter hasn't suffered. I loved your cake too. :)

We have all day kindergarten here. My opinion is that it is too long of a day for 5 year olds but what can you do? I wouldn't be a good home schooler!

Good luck getting things done while the kids are at school. Sometimes I just want to veg in front of "The View" (and I do!) but I did clean the house this morning! :0

Have a good day! Debra

Jenny said...

Happy birthday to Sammie.

Aaghhh! I can't stand the birthday gift debacle. I stick to a price, (although it has seemed to have gone up in the past year. MMMmmmm... I will have to revise that.) If it is a kid who we don't know that well, it is usually a limit of 12 dollars. If it is a friend of the family I am prepared to spend more.

Another bug bear of mine is having our whole weekend taken up transporting kids from party to party. I know if I said no I would be the 'meanest mother in the world', but I think I will just have to wear that title sometimes.