My Mommyology

Learning from Motherhood.

February 9, 2016
by mymommyology
1 Comment

The Road to 2500 (Boxes of Girl Scout Cookies)

It’s Girl Scout Cookie season once again and our first year with Girl Scouts has come full circle.

I cannot begin to tell you enough how much Sam loves Girl Scouts.  She says it’s because she gets to do so many fun things and learn.  And it is true — our troop is quite the active one with a ton of activities on a regular basis.  She has most of the patches and badges to show for it too.

These are just some of the ones at the back...

These are just some of the ones at the back…

I’ve to admit:  never in my wildest dreams would I have thought to go camping and sleep in a tent — but thanks to Sam, we now have that experience under our belt.

Throwback to that weekend. Yeeesh.

Throwback to that weekend. Yeeesh.

She claims it is one of her most favorite activities thus far, and would love to do it again (eeeep).

Her other favorite thing to do is sell.  Be it Fall Product (nuts, chocolates or magazine subscriptions) or cookies, selling “a lot” motivates her.  Everyone tells me she has a knack for it (it’s true — her Mindprint results show a high score on interpersonal intelligence.)  And when I ask her why she wants to sell “a lot”, she says it’s because she gets to do more fun things.  That is after all the essence of the program.

A portion of the girl’s sale is given to the troop to fund the supplies and activities the girls decide to do.  It’s everything from community service to just plain fun.  On top of that, each girl gets a personal incentive depending on the volume they individually produce.  The prizes are cumulative, so the more she sells the more she gets, be it a fancy item or Girl Scout cash (aka OC Bucks or Cookie Dough), used towards items or activities offered in the program (such as camping!  You get where this is going) Sam gets to pick every prize at every level.

After last year’s attempt at cookie selling, Sam was able to earn enough Cookie Dough to buy her Brownie uniform and a little stuffed toy for Jamie.   Last Fall, Sam opted for most of the cookie dough incentive, and the top prize:  Tickets for 2 to see Frozen Disney on Ice.

My husband has said time and again that if we really wanted to see the show, then we could just buy the tickets (Of course, him being the ever thrifty, practical gift-giver, we probably wouldn’t have watched it out of our own pockets!).  Even at a lower goal, she would’ve learned what she needed to learn anyway.

I don’t disagree, but I also see the value of her earning her way to what she wants.  Girl Scouts is girl-led, so she makes the decisions herself.  It’s usually a question to the parents as to whether or not we are willing to support that goal.  Sam has the advantage of having her mother as a 2 on the Enneagram, so really — HOW could I say no?!

With a lot of hard work and support from friends and family all over the world, Sam got her Disney Frozen on Ice (we bought Jamie a ticket).

Frozen on Ice isn't complete without Jamie!

Frozen on Ice isn’t complete without Jamie!

She also got the added bonus of being recognized as the Service Unit’s top seller for Fall Product 2015.

The nice surprise (or added bonus).

The nice surprise (or added bonus).

Fast forward to Cookie Season 2016.

Our troop leader asked the girls for their goals and Sam put hers down:  2500 Boxes of Cookies.  Why?  Because the Council was going to give the girls and a parent a VIP experience at Disneyland.

Maybe it's because we didn't renew our passes?

Maybe it’s because we didn’t renew our passes?

I freaked out (silently of course)How on earth were we going to do 2500 boxes of cookies?!  A girl we knew said they did it with 42 booth sales (selling outside supermarkets, each shift lasting 2 hours).  42?! There’s no way I would stand outside a grocery store for 84 hours doing that!

After the meeting I had a chat with Sam.  I wanted to see if she really understood what it entailed to sell that many cookies. I tried to talk her down to 1000, with still a decent prize of watching Cinderella.  She sold over 800 last year, so it seemed doable with a reasonable amount of booth sales.

“Don’t you just want to try for 1000 first Sam?”  I said very calmly.

“But mom.  That’s YOUR goal,” she said.  “2500 is my real goal and this is my cookie business, right?”

Was my mouth hanging open?  I don’t remember.

“Sam, I want to know — what happens if you don’t make 2500?  It’s just quite a big amount.”  My fear was that she’d fall apart if she didn’t reach it and it would hurt her self-esteem.

She was silent in thought and then eventually responded, “It’s okay.  Then we’ll try again next year,” she said with quiet confidence.  So matter-of-fact this child.  “But mom… we WILL try, right?  We’ll really REALLY try?!”

Everyday I preach about how doing their best (and knowing they’ve put their best effort into it) matters more than high scores or the perfection of their activities, because I believed that would come naturally if you gave it your all.  And here it was, echoed back at me in a perfect example.  Nothing could’ve been clearer.

It was a good wake-up call for me to see that our biggest hurdle wasn’t that she couldn’t do it, but that I was afraid to try.  And like I told my husband, this wasn’t about us.  Because of her age, she definitely needs our help.  It would have to be our goal too.

I’ve been told it’s a good problem to have a highly determined, self-motivated child who knows what she wants.  And so here we find ourselves in the midst of selling 2500 boxes of cookies.

Sam openly and fearlessly declares her goal to everyone.  Mostly they give her praise and wish her luck, and then they look at me with wide-eyes, as if to say, “you’re crazy!”.  Some have verbalized it and some have alternatively said “you’re an amazing mom,”  — which I think is a kinder version of what’s in their heads.

I smile and shrug it off, because when I look at Sam, other people’s opinions don’t faze her one bit.  And because she is so “brave”, she’s gotten many “cookie angels” that have gone out of their way to help her succeed.  It’s completely heart-warming.

We’re out everyday knocking on doors and asking everyone we know.

Rain or shine, we're out there!

Rain or shine, we’re out there!

People have said no and Sam takes it in stride.  We’ve gotten doors slammed in our face too, but she just moves on to the next door.  She’s even asked our servers at restaurants and people we meet crossing the street.  “Hi, do you want some girl scout cookies?  We have them in the car.”  And so make it a point to always carry Girl Scout cookies with me everywhere I go.

She has Jamie selling to her friends and teachers at school, because Jamie wants to help Ate reach her goal (also, Sam promised her a prize if she did).

Jamie bringing in homework... and an order for Thin Mints.

Jamie bringing in homework… and an order for Thin Mints.

Sam’s responses amaze me.

At the ballet studio during idle time someone said, “I’d love to but I didn’t bring cash“.

Sam replied, “Well, we’re here again next week.  Would you like me to bring you a box then so you could have your cash?”  She took note of their cookie choice and waited for them to come back that very next week.

Some have said they’re not ready to buy yet, and her response was, “That’s okay.  Maybe when you’re ready to buy you’d like to get a box from me?” 

I wonder where she learned it because I don’t recall teaching her that.

At Celebrate Leadership, a Girl Scout fundraiser, Sam was paired with the CEO of a large marketing firm.  Sam had gotten a purchase commitment from her, and when we went to the office to deliver the cookies, the CEO took Sam around to meet people and asked them to listen to her sales pitch.  All I had to do was watch (and make sure we took down the right orders). 

Usually a 7yr old would be shy. Sam was not.

Usually a 7yr old would be shy and timid in an office full of people she’d never met before. Sam was neither.

I learn so much from my own daughter.  Her independence, her drive, her patience and perseverance… the way she handles everything just leaves me in genuine awe.  She’s grateful for every opportunity regardless of the outcome.  And she constantly monitors her progress so she knows how much further she needs to go.  She is trying with all her heart.

My own heart bursts when I see her do what she does.  And I am extremely grateful at all the love, support and generosity people have shown towards her.  It takes a village to raise my Sam!

With two and a half weeks done, I still worry we won’t make it.  Sam chips away at the numbers slowly but surely, and has made cookie selling a part of her daily routine.  On Friday, the booth sales start and hopefully it’s the boost we need before the season ends on March 6.

It seemed like she knew what was going on in my head because one night as we were going over the numbers and checking how much more she needed to sell on average, she said reassuringly, “It’s ok Mom, I know we can do it.  I just have to believe in myself.” 

We believe in you too my love!

We believe in you too my love!

***

Does anyone want some Girl Scout Cookies? :)

January 21, 2016
by mymommyology
0 comments

Change, Conflict and the Emotionally-Charged Child

I owe this post to DIY Corporate Mom, who has given me so much more insight into our little Doves!  THANK YOU Trina!

The weeks after the holidays was quite stressful for Jamie.  For the first time, she screamed, cried and tried to reach for me when I brought her back to school.   She cried for a long time according to her teacher and was tearful every day after that.  And to think, this is a school I know she loves.  Yet here she is, giving me a hard time about waking up and going there, and there were many, many tears.  What happened?!

My confusion increased as she was doing it at gymnastics too — an after-school activity she insisted upon.  It was crazy, because Jamie loves gymnastics, and she’s good at it too.  Before the holidays, she couldn’t wait to let go of my hand when her class was called.  Then suddenly, she wouldn’t just let go of my hand.  She’d even cling to my leg and the tears would start.

The days when every little thing set her off.

All she wanted (all the time) — was Mama.

There were tears from her — and from me! The baffled parent that I was, was again filled with self-doubt.

I tried every gentle tactic I knew of.  I was supportive and present, waiting, watching and smiling.  I tried to prep her before class and talk about the things she would look forward to at school.  I told her to just finish this commitment and we’d be done, but all would just result in more tears.

I asked her if something was wrong, and she would say no.  She just didn’t want to be away from me.  Her teachers assured me she was fine in school once the tears stopped, and at pick up she has nothing but smiles and fun stories to tell about her day.  It was the same at gymnastics; once she got past the five minutes of tears, she was back to her bouncy self.

A few days ago, it got so bad that Jamie didn’t want to leave the house.  She insisted she wasn’t feeling well (she did have a cough and cold), and she asked to stay home with me.   I’d never been allowed to do that in my time (and her cough or cold wasn’t bad at all!), but I was at my wits’ end.  I was on the verge of removing her from all activities and school  (to get a slot in a Montessori school anywhere in our neighborhood means you get on a one-year wait list, so it was a big decision!), but I took a breath, had some wine... and agreed she could stay home just for today.

All day Jamie followed me around and helped with chores.

In her princess outfit no less.

Laundry and lunch:  in her princess outfit no less.

We read books and played games and got quality time together.

She was again becoming her quirky little self instead of the ultra-sensitive timid and clingy version I had seen over the last few weeks.  It also helped that I crowdsourced amongst my mom peers and I spoke at length multiple times with all her teachers.  I re-read a blog post I wrote in my attempt to decode Jamie.  And it was timely that Trina wrote about how she follows her little Dove (It’s worth the read!) — a fond term we use for our daughters.  Because we both got MindPrint Innate Intellect scans for our girls (I tell you – MindPrint is worth every penny!  I refer to those scans regularly and they’ve helped me understand my girls), we “speak” the same language.  And here’s what it came down to.

The Efficient Personality Profile, also known as the Dove.

The Efficient Personality Profile, also known as the Dove.

Just as it is the nature of a Dove,  she (we – I’m a Dove too!) has trouble with change.  And really, we’ve had a lot of that in the last few months, with the move to the new house, the Christmas guests and all.  It’s just been a constant overwhelming change.

Also, Doves are conflict and risk-averse.   They’re peaceful by nature.  Now over the holidays, Jamie was bullied everyday for two weeks, sometimes two or three times a day.  We tried to explain to her that he was younger, and he probably didn’t know better (But his parents did!  Arg!), and that she was strong and brave.  I understand now that it had a latent effect on her and somehow made her uncertain, scared and timid.  Of course it would; it happened in her own home, which should have been a safe and comfortable place, and I wasn’t always around to prevent it.  It was a tough situation, and we were so relieved when they left.

Trina’s wise words were, “with Doves, resist the urge to toughen them up.”  In a way, it re-affirmed my decision to let her stay home for a day.  Besides, Jamie gets a whole lot of natural “toughening up” since she has Sam.  And the fact that Sam is a Peacock, with characteristics opposite the Dove’s, you can imagine the daily dose of “adventure” Jamie gets (Juggling between both their needs is a story for another time. ;)).

The other thing about Jamie (again an accurate read from MindPrint),  is her high EQ or Emotional Quotient.

The four quotients will vary in degree depending on your personal scans.

The four quotients will vary in degree depending on your personal scans.

Essentially, it tells you how you’d spontaneously react in new and unpredictable situations.  Jamie’s only means that she is first emotional before she is logical.  Also, a low IQ score doesn’t mean low intelligence.  Jamie is actually smart in a very creative way (which is why her CQ is her second highest).  AQ and CQ stand for adversity quotient and creative quotient respectively and are how you’d deal with adversity or use creativity.

Jamie and my husband have the same quotient profile; except my husband’s instinctive reaction is an impulsive angry retort, while Jamie cries over everything.  It doesn’t matter how irrational the reason, high EQ-folk will only realize it after they’ve calmed down and they feel the situation is not as “emotionally charged” as it started out to be (Yes, this is very much my husband!).

Because I know this, Jamie and I process every situation and feeling.  And it does help to name them — scared, frustrated, overwhelmed, tired, sad, excited, happy.  I’ve also talked to Jamie’s teacher to take a more gentle approach when disciplining her, and when introducing her to new work.  So these days after giving Jamie feedback, her teacher will sit awhile and build Jamie’s independence through new activities.  It has worked wonders for us.

Thankfully her teachers and coaches are more than happy to — I dare say — bend some rules to help us rebuild her self-esteem and confidence.

Technically, I shouldn't be in class but they allowed me to come in and read the kids a story.

Technically, I shouldn’t be in class but they allowed me to come in and read the kids a story.

For the time-being, her teachers and I agree there would be a physical transfer of Jamie’s hand from mine to theirs, so she knows (literally) she’s in safe hands.  Rather than just dropping her at the door and leaving, I’ve also been allowed to linger outside the classroom until Jamie gives me the thumbs up sign to leave.

I’ve also made a more conscious effort to take Jamie on one-on-one dates and spend time doing things together.

Our most recent fridate!

Our most recent fridate!

When she’s with me, she is happy to try new things, and that might the best way for her to learn and explore in a safe environment.  And I’m teaching Sam to treat Jamie the same way.  Because she is Ate, and she loves her sister, we all have to pitch in and be patient and help.  So far so good, and it seems like we are on the right track.

All these little things may seem so trivial, but they add up.  Miraculously, over the last few days, Jamie seems to have found her old self again.

Happily cutting and mashing bananas for our home made banana bread.

Happily cutting and mashing bananas for our home made banana bread.

Lately, there have been no tears at the door.  She also looks at me and says softly, “see you later mom.”  And at gymnastics, when she sees her coach at the bottom of the steps, she (once again) takes the initiative to let go of my hand.  She still checks from time to time to see if I’m watching but lately, it’s always been with a smile.

:)

:)

And oh my Lord:  What a relief.  The Dove is me cries for joy.

January 14, 2016
by mymommyology
0 comments

Shop Florence Fling

I used to like shopping in the US.  My first experience upon moving here was that the quality and the styles of some of the typical US-grown brands (which ironically are sourced and produced in Asian countries!) were much better than clothes that I would find in Manila.

And then, there was also the online shopping experience, which was the golden ticket when I was pregnant or housing a newborn (or two).  I got what I needed from the comfort of my home.

Of course, that was many moons ago, and since then Manila’s online shopping and offerings have become fairly competitive.  I did like the quality of the clothes I was seeing.  Most of my money remained in the Philippine currency anyway, and it was easy to shop and have my mom or one of my relatives bring my purchases over this way.  So I was STILL getting what I needed from the comfort of my home, just over a longer time period. 😉  Plus, as I’ve mentioned before, I’d get compliments from friends and strangers whenever I’d wear the “home-bought” clothes out.

On our last trip home to Manila, on my agenda was shopping for myself.  Our suitcases were filled with pre-wedding stuff, a ton of cookies, and gifts and pasalubong for friends and family.   I didn’t bring many clothes for myself with the intention of updating my wardrobe there.

The discovery I made then that my beautiful cousin Tessa Nieto-Villalon, opened her own clothing line called Florence Fling.

The logo you need to watch out for!

The logo you need to watch out for!

You’ve definitely seen Tessa in one commercial or another.  She’s one of the country’s fashion and face models for well-known beauty brands.

Tessa, the owner and model of Florence Fling!

Tessa, the owner and model of Florence Fling!

A few years back, Tessa left the country to pursue further education abroad.  She ended up in Europe, and fell in love with the country Florence.  And when she got back she created a line of clothing that she called — Florence Fling. :)

Tessa invited me and a couple of other friends to visit her newly opened branch in SM Megamall, and I had the luxury of trying on some of her items.   She oversees the design and production of all of her clothes, and models them as well on her online store.  They are easy to wear, elegant, and definitely made well!  Of course, with Tessa at the helm, the clothes are stylish and reasonably priced.

I took a few pieces back home with me (and as predicted, I got many compliments when I wore them).  They’ve also become some of my favorite travel pieces as well.

The black blouse that Tessa gave me is what I’ve been wearing each time I’d take a trip.  It’s light and comfortable, and it has that small tie at the hip so it’s not plain.

There is also a blue version of the shirt!

There is also a blue version of the blouse!

She also recommended a tropical dress which I’ve worn to Boracay and to a post-wedding reception, among other things.  It’s very easy to wear.

Very tropical, pairs well with flats or heels!

It’s great for the beach as well as for a party.  It pairs well with flats or heels!

Another one was an easy shift dress, which I also wore one casual summer day.

I think Neva of Manilamommy and I liked the same thing! ;)

I think Neva of Manilamommy and I liked the same thing! 😉  Photo credit: Manila Mommy

I opted for the beige one, seeing as how my wardrobe has turned black and grey of the last few years of motherhood (Now I understand Michael Kors and Simon Cowell and why they wear the same thing day in and day out).

There were so many different outfits that I liked too, and Tessa is constantly updating her items.  Some of them go so fast, so you need to act quickly.

The fresh look of the Florence Fling store!

The fresh look of her store!

She’s also just recently expanded and launched a Florence Fling in Davao!  Congratulations Tessa!

To Shop Florence Fling, visit their website, or visit their store located at the 2/F Bldg. A, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City, Philippines. 

Connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest too: @florencefling

Other Florence Fling Contact info: Email: contactus.florencefling@yahoo.com, and Mobile Number: (63) 9175013564

Happy Shopping!

January 12, 2016
by mymommyology
0 comments

Another Year for a #BetterMe

Two weeks into the new year, and it’s the first time (in a long time!) that I’m alone at home and in bed.  We had quite the crazy winter with the house coming together, Sam’s birthday, and then all the relatives that came and spent the holidays with us.  And when that was done, it was all about getting the routine back into place.

You know how the coming of the new year and all the posts on Facebook make you think about the year that was?  Reflect on the year in review, talk about the big milestones and major changes that happened.  Say goodbye and thank you to 2015, and then look forward to 2016.  And then boom, the fireworks and the champagne and the new year’s resolutions and the corresponding feelings come tumbling out.  It’s the positive charge needed to start the new year.

Last year, Betterme.ph was born.  Nine moms and very dear friends attended The One Core’s Discover Your Core Weekend with Coach Pia, the starting point for this advocacy project.

Borrowed from http://www.betterme.ph

Borrowed from http://www.betterme.ph

We have in common what a lot of mothers (and people in general), want:  to be better people, better mothers, and better versions of ourselves — if only because we want to create a better world for the next generation.  It’s done on a very tangible, relevant platform too — social media!  Who isn’t on their computer or looking at their phone these days, or watching You Tube instead of TV?

It is becoming a great source of new and current information, with relevant links and channels for moms and kids alike.  I’m particularly a fan of Kids Know It.

Over the years that we’ve been working with Coach Pia and mounting #BetterMe seminars, I’ve learned so much about myself and how my whole person affects the way I am, and most especially, the way I parent.  The responsibility to a better, brighter  world all begins with me (us).  It’s a continuous process, with major ups and downs, and hiccups and bumps on the road, but still all with the same end goal that we hope to share with more people.

The prevailing thought in my head was a busy 2015.  A lot of it was life-changing, but also very “life-draining”.  As parents with responsibilities and chores and a household to look after, a lot of our energy is outward-focused.  And if your Enneagram profile is like mine (2’s anyone?), then it’s a natural tendency to put others before yourself.

On this journey of becoming a #BetterMe, I realized that no one will take better care of me, than me.  And so I have taken more purposeful, conscious steps to do things which are life-giving.  They’re not big drastic changes, but little steps that I can insert into the daily juggling act, that should help carry me through every day.  And if it makes me a better person, following the logic it will help me be a better person in the five major life bubbles, parenting included. I’ve found that writing, contributing, reading and watching what’s on BetterMe.ph to be quite life-giving.

It’s a privilege to be a part of this project.  Betterme.ph is a great constant reminder of what we set out to achieve.

:)

:)

Join the community on Facebook Twitter, Instagram and You Tube: @bettermeph.

December 11, 2015
by mymommyology
7 Comments

The DIY 7th Birthday Party

I have to tell you about my first attempt to “DIY” a birthday party!

Now if you’ve been following this blog for the last five years (what?!  Five years?!), and if you know me, then you’ll know I’m not the DIY kind of person.  My friend Trina (DIY Corporate Mom) is the expert on that, and my personal inspiration.  Another great DIY friend (for kids’ costumes in particular), would be Kris (OcMominManila).  They are my inspiration when it comes to those things.

I am a B-U-Y kind of person.  I’ll hunt for it, I’ll find it, and then I’ll buy it to make it easier on all of us.

Now as the story goes, the week before Sam’s birthday, we moved into our new home.  I was (is) losing my mind because of all the things that needed to get done.  It was also Thanksgiving weekend, so we had a good long holiday to get the house in shape, but also get some good online discounts.

Because of the big move, I had been prepping Sam about not having a birthday party like we usually do.  Somehow every year, she wrangles some party out of her dad, despite his initial attempts to avoid it.  It’s a pattern with them, I’ve to say.  In a conversation (that he claims he doesn’t recall!), Sam asked him if they could have a birthday play date in the park, with friends from both schools and cake and pizza, and he said yes.  I, the executive assistant in these decisions, carried out the plan and invited the guest list Sam put together.  I told them to have low expectations, because really — we didn’t have time for anything except cake and pizza at a playground.

So I thought that we would get away with that, but lo and behold, Sam worked her wizardry on me.

She said she really wanted a Harry Potter birthday party, and she had all the elements she wanted in her head.  We had looked at Harry Potter birthdays on Pinterest months ago, and she remembered it all.  Maybe even more now because she’d read 4 books by then.

I tell ya, it was sheer mom-guilt that drove me to do it.

And so in between the boxes and the regular routine, I was able to shop for materials and came up with a little bit more than just cake and pizza.  Thank you, Amazon and Oriental Trading.

Welcome to Hogwarts! ;)

Welcome to Hogwarts! ;)

First, we put together a picture booth.  I found some Harry Potter-like fonts on the net and tried to re-create the newspaper clipping of Sirius Black.

Elves hard at work.

Elves hard at work.

The boxes from moving came in handy, and so did the extra coffee that I was brewing but not consuming (in my frazzled state).

Say, Sirius!

Say, Sirius!

And then – we had a craft station, where the kids got to paint-their-own Hedwig.  :)  I ordered the ceramic owls and they flew in just in time for the party!  Whew!

The craft and give-away rolled into one.

The craft and give-away rolled into one.

As a nod towards the Chamber of Secrets, we had a sock station, where instead of the Pinterest suggestion to have people “donate a sock” (what would I do with unpaired socks right?), I printed out socks that the kids could decorate.

They could take home one, and leave the other with a message for Sam to put in her books, just as how Dobby the elf found the sock that set him free.

They could take home one, and leave the other with a message for Sam to put in her books, just as how Dobby the elf found the sock that set him free.

For the refreshments station, the kids had magical drinks that changed color when they put ice and a clear soda (or water).  Sam says I’m not allowed to share this trade secret. 😉

The Veritaserum (aka Apple Juice) was still on its way when this shot was taken.

The Veritaserum (aka Apple Juice) was still on its way when this shot was taken.

I also tried to label the refreshments station some of the potions that are popular to the Harry Potter world.  Some of the kids actually pretended they were in a potions class, and mixed their drinks. 😉

Do you remember the spell Ron tried to put on Malfoy?  He said, “Eat Slugs!” and because his wand was broken, it backfired.  Well, this was the inspiration for this particular bowl.

Yummy?

Yummy?

The other treats were Quidditch-inspired, where a Nimbus 2000 replica broom (made from paper bags and pretzel rods) contained snacks.

Tah-dah! Who would've thought I could make these?!

Tah-dah! Who would’ve thought I could make these?!

And of course, what is Quidditch without the Golden Snitch ey? 😉

Definitely a must-have! Even the grown-ups enjoyed them.

Definitely a must-have! Even the grown-ups enjoyed them.

I got a cupcake holder thinking I could put the Sorting Hat on top of it, since I was able to buy edible cupcake toppers in each of the house’s names.  we put out pins too and bag charms along that theme.

The sorting hat had to sit this one out I'm afraid. ;)

The sorting hat had to sit this one out I’m afraid. ;)

And finally the cake.  It was a custom-made edible topper as well that was ordered out of Amazon.

The best shot I could take!

The best shot I could take!

The most stressful part was finding a grocery that would take the order over Thanksgiving!  The fifth time was the charm and they finally took my order at that store.

It took away a lot of hours of much-needed sleep (my husband was just constantly working on the house so he couldn’t really help), but I was pleasantly surprised it all came together pretty well.  The kids said they had a good time.  I finally got to meet some of the parents of her friends at the new school too which was nice.

Over all, my birthday girl was pretty satisfied, and that made it all worthwhile. :)

Happy Birthday My Love!

Happy Birthday My Love!

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