Someone just spent some birthday money at Toys R Us.

We had promised the kids we’d take them shopping after Christmas to spend some of their birthday money/gift cards. (We’d postponed shopping due to the move and then we just forgot about it but when I took them Christmas shopping for each other they both obviously wanted to shop for themselves.)

I went with Katie and Tom went with Owen. They each had $35 to spend. Katie kept trading items out of the cart as she found stuff she liked better. It took her a bit to understand that she couldn’t just get everything she wanted. I had to guide her a little bit but she did well.

She loves being a mermaid. (This was a last-minute purchase that was her entire budget but she also had an expensive doll she really wanted. So to make my life easier, I let her get both and now she has used up all of her Target gift cards as well!)

I wasn’t thrilled about this huge animal but I was thrilled it wasn’t a 200-piece Shopkins set. She also got a huge 24″ Barbie-type doll so all of her gift cards are now gone (she had Target ones as well but since she went over budget, they’re now mine!).

Owen bought a bunch of random smaller stuff that I’m sure will be played with for a week and then lost. 😂 But he was happy today!

Katie’s Halloween Afternoon

While the boys were away at the game, Katie had a birthday party to go to…and some trick or treating to do. (Our city, for whatever reason, holds Halloween the Saturday before.)

She made me a mask.

  

The group of birthday trick-or-treaters. 

It was a tiny bit insane as they literally made a mad dash from house to house. It was also freezing.

  
 

And then they were all tired and cold after only 30 minutes so it was back to the house for a piñata.

A good time was had by all… And Katie even stayed to play and watch a movie so I had the house to myself… 

My first birthday fish sage!

I was originally planning on meeting a girlfriend halfway for a girls night out and we would do a joint live Facebook LipSense sale while having a few adult beverages in the hotel. She had to bow out due to work commitments, but I still wanted to try the sale myself so that’s just what I did! Of course, I kept with the adult beverages because, hey, that’s who I am and it was my birthday after all. :p

So why did I call it a fish sage? Well, in the initial planning stages with my friend over text, my phone autocorrected bad typing of live sale to fish sage and the rest is history. We both thought it was hilarious and I thought it might draw in more people’s attention if I was advertising a FISH SAGE. The result was…meh. A few people were intrigued, but it didn’t have the rousing success I had envisioned. (The fish sage joke only lasted for the first two days of the advertising. I quickly let people in on the joke.) The advertising was also proof you can pretty much google any two words and find appropriate pictures!

I was a bit nervous but once I got started it went well enough. I had about 4-7 people watching for the hour and a half I was on (I didn’t plan for it to go that long but oh well!) and although I didn’t sell anything during the sale as I had imagined, I sold quite a bit afterwards! So it was a success!

Here are some screenshots of the live video just because. There were some hilarious parts where I really didn’t know what I was doing with some of the makeup but I rolled with it and it was all good. (Keep in mind before this gig, I really didn’t wear lipstick or makeup more than a few times a year. I mean, ever since I stopped working nine years ago—and even back then I had no idea how to apply makeup—I just winged it. So I’ve worn makeup and eye shadow more in the past month than I have the past five years. And I’m still learning.)

And this was the full end result of the makeup demo. It was only a semi hot mess. And yes, the two different color lips were on purpose. 💕

It was definitely an interesting way to spend my birthday!!

Happy 45th Tom!

Tom got a half day off work so we celebrated his birthday in style at our first local Diners, Drive-ins and Dives restaurant: The Shanty. I started with Pineapple Sangria…

Then we tried one of the dishes they showcased on the show: Whiskey Shrimp. It was delish.

 

And another dish they profiled in DD&D: Blackened Conch Filet. Super yummy.

 
  

And a free birthday dessert!

 

Then we went to check out the Costco in Wisconsin—just a few miles away! 

Katie and Gramma Jean’s Big Birthday Adventure

I told Gramma that for Katie’s birthday, instead of giving her stuff, to take her on an adventure. So she did.

In Gramma’s words:

For Katie’s 5th birthday this year, we went on an adventure! (Yes, in Grayling.) We played at three parks, went wading in the river (along some of the racers practicing), went to the grocery store for picnic lunch supplies [where Katie could pick anything she wanted—she got a Lunchable, strawberry yogurt covered pretzels, strawberries, cashews, and chocolate milk], threw stones in the river for a half hour, went for a 3-mile bike ride (yes, I fell), and had an ice cream cone at Wimpy’s. We were gone 7 hours and mom and dad were starting to worry! What great fun we had! Happy birthday Katie Bug!

 

   
       
                        

Gramma says Katie could have pedaled for hours!

  

Gramma says: I am so glad Katie didn’t fall. We were too close to each other and her back wheel caught my front wheel. 

         
  

Happy 5th birthday, Katie!

The day started by opening a present from papa and Grannie (that has been in our closet for probably two years now)—doll bunk beds. She was over the moon!

  
Picture with the birthday girl!

Opening her birthday cards—the same card from two people and the zebras matched her outfit! What are the odds?!

The official picture.

Surprise birthday!

It was my friend Caitlin’s birthday and she didn’t think I knew, so we surprised her with cake and ice cream…and took them out to dinner. They just happened to have face painting that night, so three of the four kids did that (Owen stayed at the table watching Nationals baseball with Tom). The face painting lady and I even convinced Caitlin to get her face done as she didn’t think she’d ever had her face painted.

Katie picked the Ice Princess.

  
    
   

  

  

  

Don’t Buy My Kids More Toys. Try This Instead.

Don’t Buy My Kids More Toys. Try This Instead. From ScaryMommy.

Hallelujah and Amen.

Let me give you some advice of what you can do instead: Just spend time with them. Take them out for ice cream, or a date to the zoo, or even to the park down the street. They will love that more than any toy, I promise. They will remember it longer too.

Our kids just had a birthday party and got lots of gift cards. The plan is to let them but one thing and then trade them experiences for their cards. Would you rather go to Target and get a Barbie or would you rather go to the zoo? A new Lego set or a baseball game? Fingers crossed my plan works.

Dual Birthday Pool Party

After watching the forecasts and worrying about the weather all week (the forecast varied from thunderstorms to 60% chance of rain to light rain all day)…we decided to go ahead with the party and it ended up absolutely perfect!! It was overcast at the start and gradually got sunnier and warmer throughout the party—enough so that I had Tom grab my suit when he went back to get the cake!

We had 60 guests (kids and adults!!) and the pool was probably the busiest it will be all season (aside from the days they have cookouts with free food or night swims with free ice cream). But it all went smoothly, everyone had a blast, and there was plenty of pizza and cake for multiple helpings (once I started cutting the serves 48 cake and realized my small pieces were still not small enough to get me close to 60 pieces, I started halving those…and then ended up having half the cake left so kids got seconds and thirds).

The gaggle of dads. They didn’t move from this spot the whole time. 😂

Us moms:

;

The kids were fairly patient about opening gifts once we got home…and they LOVED everything. They got Bop It (thank heavens I found the volume control!) and Owen picked up on it right away, Katie dug right into the glitter glue and construction paper, Owen picked out his favorite baseball cards from a new pack, Katie put together her Disney Lego, we’ve been shot multiple times by Owen’s new nerf gun, and both kids were OVER THE MOON about all the gift cards and getting to go shopping once we move! They both said it was a great birthday!