Daughter Turned 5! Birthdays Are So Bittersweet

Its always bittersweet when my daughter has a birthday.  I am so happy to see her being excited and anticipating the day and party, but at the same time I can’t help but want to hold time still and possibly even have powers to rewind back.

I know all parents say this, but 5 years has gone by way too fast.  I still think back to the day she was born, crawling, first steps, pacifier and cloth days, diapers, and first words.  Then I think of all her birthdays and how it has been unfair that it has been gone to fast.

This years theme was after the movie Brave from Disney.  We gave away tons and tons of candy of course to all her cousins and friends.  For food we cooked BBQ chicken breast, mac & cheese, BBQ beans, hot dogs, BBQ chicken legs & wings, and lots of bread rolls.

Kids all had fun since we sugared them all up and gave away tons of bows and arrows we picked up on Amazon.  They were novelty items, and were not meant for long term play.  For a pack of 10 bows & (3) arrows per bow was $8.99.  Relatively cheap to keep 30 kids occupied.

We also laid out a crafts rug where we had tons of markers, cut outs, felt, soft letter shapes, and more for kids to create and make art.  Next to that was a Lego table that had hundreds of pieces from my own personal childhood and we left them for kids to build but not take home.  Sorry.

Overall the party was amazing.  My daughter had a great time and the presents were all so thoughtful.  I have already noticed a change in her since she has turned 5 and to me it makes me proud and sad.  I guess I’ll have to hold on to what I can before she really grows up.

So I Saw Brave Over The Weekend

 

So after much anticipation by all parties in my family including myself, we finally went out and saw Brave.  We missed it on the opening weekend due to my daughter being sick, but I am kind of glad we did.  Even with some heavy hitting films coming out this past weekend, Brave was still packed.  We found some good seats, bought some popcorn, pulled out the candy and enjoyed a family friendly film.

Overall I liked the film.  I don’t think it was Disney/Pixar’s strongest film, but it has heart.  There was a decent story to be told and the film played it out well.  I expected the story to be more deep and complex but I had to remind myself that this was not intended for me, but for my 4 year old daughter.

One thing that I do have to commend is the intensity of beautiful colors that are in the film.  The hair, the backdrops, and scenes are filled with immensely bright colors that fill the big screen.  This is definitely a film that must be seen in the movie theaters with the loud speakers and dim environment.

My daughter, wife and I enjoyed the film.  There was a lot of humor in it for both adults and kids to laugh at.  Merida ( the princess and main character ) is like every girl growing up and wanting to be independent and make her own choices.  Her dad King Fergus is a jolly man with a heart of gold, while her mom the queen only wants what she thinks is best for her.

Great family fun and I definitely recommend taking the kids and calling it a movie day or night!

Motion Math Hungry Fish Ipad App For Your Kids

I am always looking for new iPad games that are both entertaining and educational.

As of late, my daughter and I have been playing quiz games during our car rides.  She likes it when I ask her math questions in association with foods and toys.  Since she likes it, I feel that she is ready to learn even more, but at the same time I want it to be fun.

So I downloaded Motion Math: Hungry Fish.  Its free for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.  With 18 levels of difficulty it is a sure challenge for any toddler ready for math.

The main character in the game is a fish in the deep ocean.  The fish has a number on it and you must find ways to eat bubbles with numbers in it that add up to the number on the fish.  This game has great graphics and has good replay value.  Fun when played together with other children, and parent.

I recommend this to all parents looking for a new app, and plus its FREE!!!

 

 

Calvin & Hobbes and Importance of Stuffed Animals

One of my favorite comics growing up was Calvin & Hobbes.  I really related to this comic.  Calvin had parents that did not understand him, and he relied heavily on his stuffed tiger to keep him entertained.  Children need toys to stimulate them.  I encourage my daughter all the time to play with her dolls and stuffed animals and be young.

So naturally I enjoy playing stuffed animals with my 4 year old daughter.  I hope there never comes a day where she out grows them.  I grew up very lonely without friends.  My parents did not take me around many families with kids, and with their busy work schedules and not being very outgoing, I never attended birthday parties or was involved in play groups.

I did have many stuffed animals.  And honestly they kept me company during my toddler and younger years.  Stuffed animals stimulate the brain so much.  They force the child to look at them as a friend, and make up stories and create story lines with them.

Another important fact is that they keep the child innocent.  They keep them busy and let them enjoy the beauty of being a child.

We live in a world today where we are bombarded with so much technology and marketing on television, internet, tablets, and more and I want to take her away from that as much as possible.  I want her to stay young, and to continue to imagine, and be creative.

To this date, my daughter still consistently asks me to play with her and her animals.  We create stories that she thinks of or learns from preschool and I do the voices of each one of them.  We like to play “school,” or “store,” where at the same time I teach her about math and letters.

Its a shame that Bill Waterson the creator of Calvin and Hobbes decided to retire from drawing and writing.  I still today read to her (and her stuffed animals) some of the more easy story lines from his classic comics and get a good laugh together.

Skip Hop Backpacks for Kids

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I wish I was a kid again.  And there are tons of reasons why!  But one of the reason is that kids these days have such cooler things now than when I was little.  Hence, I wish that these backpacks where around when I was little. But I guess, I didn’t really need a backpack growing up at a young age in school. We didn’t have all the gadgets and things that many of the children today have. But if I did, I would have loved to have one of these. My favorite is the blue owl, but my daughters is the lady bug on the bottom right. Very handy, well crafted and design makes this stand out amoungs all the backpacks in the current market. Both pockets have plenty of room for a iPad, books, sweater, and toys. Also the side pouch for water and juices comes in handy.  This bag really makes a kid feel young and good about themselves.  There are many animals to choose from and all are amazing in their own way.  Check it out if you got a little one that needs to lug around stuff.

$20.00 is the price at many stores off and online. Make sure you don’t pay more than that.  Some even offer free shipping.

Disney Marie Shirt From H&M

While browsing online with my wife one night on H&M I found this shirt that I think my daughter would love.  For $5.95 @ H&M you can get this Disney Marie shirt.  Its loud, large, and should attract any little girls attention.  She’ll wear it proudly to school and if she is a fan of Disney, well then that’s another positive.  

Sperry Top Sider Kids Super Pink

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Sometimes I see something and I can’t help but picture how they would look on my daughter.  Sperry Top Siders have always been very comfortable to wear and with summer ahead, I thought this would be perfect for her.  Luckily I have a mom who is as insane about shoes as myself and she decided to pick these up for her since they were on sale at Nordstroms.

These Top Siders really caught our attention due to the combination of colors.  Pink & purple being my daugters favorite colors.  With the shinny patent leather and white stitching, they are definitely shoe candy.

P.S. I also love how they are slip ons.  Shoe laces are just so overrated.

Hello Kitty Vans Girls Black

 

 

Its always cute when your little one wants to have things that you have and dress like you.  Since I have a pair of polka dot Vans, my daughter has been wanting a pair herself.  She had a pair of Hello Kitty slip ons that were pretty old and beat up from preschool and the parks, that it was time for her to renew a pair for summer school.  This is what she decided on.  You can never go wrong with a pair of Vans slip ons for your kids.  They are comfy, versitile, plesant to look at, and most of all, quick to slip on when Dad is in a rush.