Kind Kiddo

Real, Funny, Fun Parenting

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Frozen Birthday Party

My daughter, Romy, turned 2 this month.  She absolutely loves the movie, Frozen, right now, so I decided to seize the opportunity and throw her a Frozen birthday party.  I knew it would be a fairly easy theme to fulfill since it’s so popular. And I needed something easy, because we just moved into our house a couple of months ago, which means that things are still rather hectic around here.

The first thing I did was call the party rental business and secure their Frozen bounce house.  A bounce house is seriously the simplest way to provide young children with entertainment if you have enough space for one.  I also decided to rent a snocone machine with blue raspberry snocone syrup, because – Frozen, ice, snow, snocones…you get the point.  And what kid (or adult) doesn’t love a snocone?  My husband and my dad took turns making snocones for the kiddos, and they did a great job.  Miss Romy loved them (and tried to bring one onto my new living room rug, but that’s a whole other fun story).

As for party decorations, I concentrated 95% of my efforts on the dining room.  I hung Frozen decor on the walls (cheap on Amazon), blew up Frozen balloons with a tank of helium I got at the store, and decked out my dining room table.  To keep things from getting too difficult, I decided on just one craft project for the party.  My husband helped me paint some fake brown branches white and glittery.  Then I simply stuck them in a glass vase with a bunch of clear marbles/vase filler.  I even added some fake plastic crystals to the vase and also scattered them all over the table.

The table also had a couple of small glass vases filled with Hershey’s Kisses in blue and silver wrappers, a lollipop tree (which we painted ourselves because it was originally green), some snowflake garland hanging from the ceiling and a few of Romy’s Frozen toys.  And for my final and extra special touch, I put my iPad on the table playing Frozen Fever.  If you’ve seen it you know that it’s a short film about Anna’s birthday.  So that made it absolutely perfect for our party table.

Notice that we had sandwiches (Anna’s fave), carrots (in honor of Sven and Olaf) and chocolate (because Anna and Elsa love chocolate).  And the cheese and chips were there simply because Romy likes them.  We also had the most delicious chocolate cupcakes with sparkles and snowflakes on top.  If you’re in the Houston area look up Hazel’s Dessert Shoppe for all sorts of baked goods.  They’re awesome!

A rainstorm ended up rolling in about an hour or so into the party, so everyone piled into our house to finish out the night.  But even with rain we had such a great time.  And the birthday girl was very happy and very TIRED when it was all said and done.  Happy Birthday, Romy!

Tips for an EASY party:

  1. There’s no reason to decorate the entire house if you’re trying to make things easier on yourself. Focus on a designated area and take most of your pictures in that area.
  2. If you can take advantage of party favors from the store, do it.  Handmade favors are wonderful, but if you’re trying to cut yourself some slack, just buy some cool, inexpensive things from the store.  The kids will think it’s fun either way.
  3. Minimize craft projects. Do just one or two craft projects (or none if you can get away with it) to decorate for the party.  If you have to labor long and hard for days and days leading up to the party, it might lead to some unwanted stress.
  4. Let someone else do the cooking. I ordered sandwich and cheese trays from the grocery store, bought chips and carrots, and hired a pro to make the cupcakes.  After doing everything by hand and homemade for my son’s first birthday 4 years ago, I decided I had paid my dues in that department and never had to do it again.
  5. Prep the day before.  Get the decor and preparations done the day or two before if possible so that you can work less and celebrate more during the actual party!

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Children’s Book Chat: Oliver Brightside by Chris Manzo

Having been a parent for nearly 5 years now means that I’ve been exposed to plenty of children’s books.  There are books about babies, books about becoming a sibling, books about animals, books about colors, books about going to the potty, and so on.  But never had I heard of a children’s book about a kid, a penny, and the value of a friendship.

Being a huge (like, major) fan of The Real Housewives franchise on Bravo, I became an immediate and loyal fan of New Jersey Housewife, Caroline Manzo’s, spin-off, Manzo’d With Children.  I’ve always loved watching the Manzo family.  They set a great example for younger parents, showing us how we can continue to have solid relationships with our kiddos as they become adults.  So when Caroline’s youngest child, Chris, mentioned that he was writing a children’s book on last season’s Manzo’d With Children, you can imagine how excited I was.  I reached out to his publishing company right away in hopes of doing exactly what I’m doing here – a fun Q&A with a super nice guy that decided to bring his cool idea to life in his very first children’s book.  I present to you, Christopher Manzo.
KK Chris Manzo image oliver site
KK:  Hi Chris!  My kids loved your book, especially my son, who’s almost 5.  My daughter is 2, so she doesn’t understand as much as my son, but she loves books like he does.  We read at bedtime every night.  Did your parents read to you and your siblings when you were little kids?
CM:  That’s great!  I’m happy to hear they loved it!  Reading was big in our family.  My mother used to read to us, and my grandmother did as well. She has a micro library in her house, and she would always pick a book to read and discuss with us.

KK:  Speaking of your family, I’m a big fan of Manzo’d With Children.  Have the show’s viewers been supportive of Oliver Brightside?  I know I’ve been looking forward to it since I saw you talk about it on the show last year.
CM:  The viewers have been great. Seemingly, any time during the morning or night, I can check any form of social media and see either an encouraging message from someone or a picture of their kids reading Oliver.  It’s a wonderful feeling. Continue reading

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Mother’s Day Isolation

Yesterday, for Mother’s Day, my husband decided to smoke a brisket.  Anyone that knows anything about this process knows that it’s a long one.  So since he was going to be tending to the pit all day long, he suggested I go to a few stores on my own while he stayed home with the kids.  I thought it was a pretty good idea.  He knows that going to the grocery store alone is one of my fave things (cheap thrills).  So it made sense that he would think I’d like to venture out to grab a gift for our daughter’s upcoming birthday, as well as a little something for myself.  I started at Target, but left with a few groceries and household items and no birthday gift.  Then I headed over to a local outdoor shopping center to look a little more for her gift.  As I drove through the parking lot I saw families strolling together with not a parking spot to be had.  I finally settled on a parking spot pretty far away from my destination.  And, of course, I had to pee.  I quickly got out and headed for the store, but soon realized that I had forgotten something in the car.  As I headed back to my car an overwhelming sense of loneliness flooded over me and I said, This fucking sucks, to myself outloud.  I didn’t want to be alone on Mother’s Day.  I wanted to be home with my husband and babies.  Sure, I recognize that it’s commercialized and blown up by retailers.  But the bottom line is that no matter how cool you’re trying to be about it, Mother’s Day matters…at least somewhat.  When I got back home I even stopped my husband from changing my daughter’s diaper so that I could do it.  He had been handling almost everything all day and I realized that I truly wanted to mother them on Mother’s Day.  I didn’t want to spend the day isolated at some spa or even just several hours shopping alone.  In fact, I didn’t want any time alone…with the exception of about an extra 30 minutes in bed that morning.  I’ll take that any day. 


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