My girls are stuffed animal fans. I have found that there are usually two different camps of girls – those that like stuffed animals or dolls. While both of my girls will play with the occasional doll, they do not sleep with them, they do not call them their “buddies.”

This shouldn’t surprise me since I was the same way. Before the days of “Pillow Pets,” I would sleep with all of my animals lined up on my pillow with a tiny space left for my head against the wall. I did this for quite some time and knew it was unique enough that I actually took a picture of it before I went to bed one night. I even think my sister (9 1/2 years older) snuck into my room one night to take a picture too. I hate to admit it but I still have a bin full of my own “buddies” in our basement. This bin has moved with me from my parents home and probably makes my husband question my sanity (just a little bit).

Of all my stuffed animals, my favorite by far was and is Poopasha. Yes, Poopasha. I am not sure how old I was when I named him but I think I was around 5. The age where you find the word “poop” extra entertaining. I remember my dad asking me what I was going to name the dog (who is brown) and I coming up with the name off the top of my head. Poopasha has not been regulated to that bin in the basement. He has a place of honor on my dresser and even went with me when I went away to college.

As Miss M is now 8 she doesn’t play as much with her buddies but she still keeps them on her bed and sleeps on a unicorn pillow pet. Occasionally she will let C have one or two for her bed but sometimes she will suddenly realize that she doesn’t want them to stay on C’s bed too long. A couple of weeks ago something happened between the two girls that made me realize that M was still pretty firmly attached to one of her buddies.

Before I get to that story, I first have to tell you about Doggie aka FluffleBally. He is C’s special buddy. She sleeps with him, talks to him and for him (in a special voice). He is looking quite worn already and we hope he will make it through the rigors she puts him through.

Now back to what happened a couple of weeks ago. All of a sudden M realized that her Bear-Bear is now on C’s bed (where it had been for a couple of weeks at least). She suddenly wanted him back. C started crying that M can’t have him back because Bear-Bear is Doggie’s Daddy! M then started crying that she wanted her Bear-Bear back. Good times. The situation was finally resolved when I told C we would get her her own Bear-Bear to replace M’s. The next day we went and got Bearie the Bear-Bear, Doggie’s new Daddy.

I was really taken aback by M’s initial reaction. I didn’t expect the tears and complete exasperation on her part towards C having her Bear-Bear. Thinking back on it I realize that M was just rightfully claiming what is hers and that is good. So many times M will give into C since she is littler and also has a stronger personality than M. I am proud that M did not give in this time.

I am glad that both of my girls have these comfort items in their lives. I think it is always good and healthy to have something that you can confide in and be your true self to without feeling judged.

Buddies for life.

Comfort Items

Stuffed Animals through the years: (L-R) Bearie the Bear-Bear,Bear-Bear,Doggie/SnuffleBally, Poopasha

Do you have a stuffed animal buddy in your home?

Election Reflection

Yesterday was an interesting day. Not only was it Election Day it was also the 28th anniversary of my dad’s death. Back on that day in 1984, when he passed away, it was also an election day. He was a staunch Democrat so the joke was made after he passed that Bob didn’t want another four years of Reagan. He had a wicked sense of humor so he would have appreciated that one. I think it is fitting that on this particular anniversary we elected our first African-American president to a second term. My dad certainly would have voted for him. It makes me happy when I reflect on the things that would have made him happy.  So that helped to make the day brighter.

Another bright point of the day was seeing how excited and interested Miss M was in the electoral process. I always try to take the girls with me to vote but this time, Miss M. was especially interested in what the ballot said and what I was marking. I had promised the girls stickers from the voting place prior to going there. Unfortunately they were all out by the time we arrived (around 4:30pm). C was especially disappointed but we decided to make our own stickers at home and wait till Daddy got home to borrow his since he voted at 6am. This satisfied them. M enjoyed looking at the map and seeing all the different states turn different colors. I relished in her enthusiasm – even if it was partly a ploy to stay up a bit later than usual! M kept asking when we would know who was voted the next president. Both J and I told her that it won’t be decided until after she went to bed and maybe not even until after we went to bed as well. We were right. Although many networks declared Obama victorious by 10pm central time, no speeches were given until 1am!

When M woke up this morning, her first question was Is Obama still president? I told her I think so but that it wasn’t definite when I went to bed at 11pm. So we went downstairs and checked the computer. Some funny quotes from the girls as they looked on and saw the new final map with all states colored in except Florida: Miss M seeing Florida not colored in “Wonder why Florida didn’t vote. Maybe their people fell asleep counting votes.” and C upon recognizing her state on the map “There’s our state, Illinois, a blue state!”

I love being able to share this with my daughters. We are so blessed to live in the times we do with so many freedoms. I can hope through my example of civic duty I will enstill in them (as my parents did in me) the blessings and power that comes from using your right to vote.

Low-Key Birthdays

Two weekends in a row we celebrated Miss M’s birthday. One Saturday for the family, the next for friends. We had the family party here. I do not decorate a lot or try to spend a lot of money for birthday parties. Although I enjoy looking at the gorgeous photos that people post from their children’s parties, that is not me. Case in point, here is a photo from Miss M’s family party:

As you can see, our decorations consisted of one “Happy Birthday” sign (purchased from the Dollar Store about three birthdays ago) and one Party City balloon with the word “Rock” on both sides and a picture of a guitar on one, and a skull and crossbones on the other. Yep. Keeping it classy. Miss M picked out the balloon. It is our one extravagance for their family party.

We served pizza (takeout/Aurelio’s), soda (to be poured by yourself from the 2 liter bottles in the fridge), salad (freshly prepared by J) and dessert. J and M made an awesome Kit-Kat Cake that turned out so good:

Doesn’t that look fancy? It is really SO easy! Miss M enjoyed putting the M and M’s on top.

So there you have it. Low-key decorating/partying on the cheap. In our family (and I am sure in yours as well) our focus is on the gathering of people to celebrate another’s day of birth. I try to keep that in my focus and not get too consumed by having a perfect house with lots of decorations. I appreciate it when others do it but for me this is enough. And that is all good.

How do you do birthdays? I will talk about Miss M’s kid party soon.

Miss M is Now Eight: An Interview

Last Saturday, October 13th, Miss M turned eight.  She is getting closer and closer to that double digit number that we won’t talk about right now since it kinda scares me. Here is my annual interview with her:

How old are you?  EIGHT!!!

What is your favorite color? Pink! Pink is my first one, purple is my second one and blue is my third one.

What is your favorite food? Brownies and Macaroni and Cheese

What is your favorite toy? I like..um..any fashion toy.

What do you mean by fashion?  You make fashion, DUH!

What do you like most about 2nd grade? When somebody yells out, like, for example, when somebody yells that somebody else has a girlfriend.  That is funny!

What is your favorite subject in school?  Art.

Why? Because we get to make cool projects.

What do you like to do at recess? Chase boys or jump rope or do something funny, cool or weird.

What do you want to be when you grow up? Movie Star!

What are you going to be for Halloween? A zombie cheerleader.

What do you like about your sister? When she says funny stuff.  Like “You big fat lady!” or “Kill Them!” or “I’m Dead.”

What is your favorite TV show? I like all.

What do you like to do after school? Go on the iPad or play with my toys.

How do you think you have changed from last year? I’m getting taller and I’m missing seven teeth.

Miss M 8