Sunday, September 19, 2010

Twin Cousins

Kate is only two and a half weeks younger than her cousin. I'm sure someday they will be the best of friends. But for now, they mostly like to steal each other's toys.

Well, in a whirlwind of sudden changes in plans, my sister and her little family left. Her husband went to camp for the Army for five months so they all went. And now, after having eight people living in our house for the past four and a half months, we have our house back to ourselves again.

On the one hand, it's a lot quieter...
Wait a minute! Who am I kidding? It's a lot LESS LOUD.
And now we can have underwear dance parties in the living room after the kids are in bed.

On the other hand, the live-in friends/babysitters are gone.
Now I have to wake up all three kids every time I take Claire to school.
And I have no adult conversation until M gets home.
And whose high chair tray will Kate steal food from now???

"Hey cuz! C'mere and let me sit on you."

Monday, September 13, 2010

Get the Gift - My Favorite Shower Game

I did a baby shower several years ago where I had to come up with a game. Since then, I've used it again and several people have asked for the the info on it too, so I thought I'd post it here. Then I can just give people a link when they want info on it and I can share with anyone else out there who might be looking for a good shower game. I love this game!

The idea for the game is loosely based on Pass the Parcel, which we played at some of my birthday parties growing up. I wanted to play a game where lots of people got a little prize. I like to spread the love :) So I put my present to the guest of honor in the middle, then I wrapped it in many layers of wrapping. (I stock up on cheap stuff after Christmas that doesn't look like Christmas paper and intersperse it with blank newsprint or whatever else I have around. You could even just use newspaper to be inexpensive.) Inside each layer I put a little favor. I usually buy packs of mini-nail polish and mini-rolls of ribbon at the Target Dollar Spot and then split them up. You could also use something like candy or whatever you want.

The second element I wanted to incorporate is a get-to-know you quality to the game, so rather than just "pass the parcel" I thought we could decide who to pass it to next based on something about that person. My friend had found a few rhymes on the internet (source unknown), so I started with those but there were only about ten. I added to them so there would be plenty for everyone to get one. I taped a rhyme to the top of each layer of the wrapping. Start with the last rhyme on the innermost wrapping and then put the first rhyme on the outermost layer of wrapping.

So here's how it works. You hand the gift to the guest of honor and have her read the first poem from the outside. Here are the little rhymes with the description of the "winner" in bold:

You thought all the gifts were meant for you,
But I have other items too.
So hold up this gift and look all around
Then pass to the one with eyes of
darkest brown.

You might think you are the lucky one,
But let's all try to share the fun!
Look around with eyes discreet
And pass to the one with the smallest feet.

Your feet are tiny and very smallest.
Now hand this to someone very tallest.

Please take your time and don't be harried.
Give this to the one who is longest married.

You must be proud of your married life.
Now pass this on to the newest wife.

Of this parcel you are bereft.
Give it to the one on your left.

The longest earrings we're looking for now.
If you're wearing them, step up with a bow.

Now that you have gotten your treat,
Give this to the one with the largest feet.

Look around with all your might
And pass to the one of shortest height.

Now search for all the buttons you can find.
Look for the most, of any kind.

Now don't get cross and please don't fight,
But pass this to the lady third on the right.

Is she here or is she there?
Find the lady with the shortest hair.

Some of us may live far away.
Who came the furthest to be here today?

No matter where she lives on this earth
This lady is living farthest from the place of her birth.

Though it may make you shy, just a smidge,
Being the oldest comes with privilege.

You're the one whose years are most,
But now the youngest will play host.

To whom is this place the dearest?
Pass this on to the person born nearest.

Her life probably does not feel very calm,
So give this to the one who is the newest mom.

Search in this room, not all through the land
And find the one with the longest nails on her hand.

Your nails are so long! That totally rocks!
Now hand this to the person with the longest locks.

You are given the power to choose.
Pass to whoever you want, you cannot lose!

Give this to the person with the longest name.
Learning to spell it was no silly game!

Now the gift goes to the mom with the oldest child.
She can tell us all about how teenagers are wild.

Look straight ahead is what I ask you to do
Then pass to the one directly across from you.

A little discussion and we'll be able to tell
The lady whose name is shortest to spell.

Opposite of giving the worm to the early bird,
Put the gift in the hand whose knock was last heard.

I know, I know, the rhymes are getting worse.
Pass this to the one with the biggest purse!

I think we should stop now, don't you agree?
So give this last gift to the Mother-to-Be.

(I've never done it, but I'm sure the last rhyme could be changed to "Bride-to-Be" so the game could be used for a bridal shower.)

After each little rhyme is read, the group determines who the "winner" is and passes the gift to them. They unwrap a layer, retrieve their favor that was wrapped inside, and read aloud the next rhyme taped to the outside of the next layer. It's up to you whether you want to allow repeat winners or whether you want to skip people who have already won once and find a runner-up who hasn't gotten anything yet. I wrote enough to allow for 27 winners plus the guest of honor, so obviously you can expand or condense to meet your own needs. Let me know if you have any questions, but I hope you enjoy this game as much as I do!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Last Hurrah

We went to an uber fancy dinner in downtown on Friday. We had something like a gift certificate from M's work for his 5 year anniversary with the company. We had to take advantage of our live-in babysitters before they leave this coming week.

It. Was. So. Delicious.

I've spent the whole weekend drooling over the memory of that food. Now every time I go to select food at my own house, I am overwhelmed by the not-as-fabulousness of it all. I figure, what's the point of making dinner anymore? It will never be that dinner. I might as well just go microwave a hot pocket.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

30 - It's Like 25 But With More Money

M and I went out to celebrate my 30th birthday:

I was a little nervous about turning 30. Did I do all the fun things I should have before I got "old"?

The weekend after my birthday, we left the kids with my sister and went to the lake. We rented wave runners for an hour and at the end of it I realized that in many ways, this stage of life is WAY better than 5-10 years ago. There are many reasons, but for one thing, now we can actually afford to do the fun things we could only dream about when we were 25.