Dear Holly: You Successfully Crashed Your Brother’s Classmate’s Birthday Party

2 years, 10 months.

Dear Holly,

Your brother was invited to one of his girl classmate’s birthday party at a fun gymnasium.

It happened to be the weekend where Nonna and Papa were in town to watch you and your brother.

I suggested that you just “crash” the birthday party.

Fortunately, that plan came together. Even though you were noticeably younger and smaller than all the other “party friends”, that didn’t stop you from trying everything you brother did.

Granted, there were times your brother had to help you.

But you loved it! Good thing you decided to be a party crasher!



10 Gift Ideas for a 2 Year-Old Girl in 2018, With Helpful Photos and Convenient Links to Amazon

With my daughter turning 2 years old in April, I figured it would be a good idea to share the “gift search experience” with anyone else out there who is also deciding what to get a 2 year-old little girl they know. Perhaps you’ve been invited to a birthday party, or are just looking to send a gift to whoever the little girl is that you know. Either way, I hope to help you in deciding what to get her.

My wife helped me out with this, by giving me links to gifts that she has either already bought our daughter, or is considering buying.

Unless you happen to be the parent of an almost 2 year-old daughter in 2018, like my wife and I are, it can be difficult to figure out just where the child’s development level and interest skills are, in relation to an appropriate gift; one that will not be too much too soon, or too little too late.

So today, I share these with you, in hopes I make your life a little bit easier. Remember, all you have to do is just click the link to the gift idea, and you’ll get straight to the product on Amazon to learn more; and to potentially purchase it right there.

LeapFrog Shapes and Sharing Picnic Basket

Thanks for checking out my blog today. Good luck on your search for that special almost 2 year-old little girl in your life. If nothing else, you might stumble upon the perfect gift once you get to Amazon from one of my links.

Everything is in Place- How To Perfectly Organize Children’s Birthday? (By Guest Blogger Angela Berry)

We all know how much children love birthdays and how much they look forward to them, and parents are those who try their best to make it all happen. Every parent wants their kid to have the best birthday party there is, but usually, they don’t know how to begin organizing it. Here are some elementary things you should start from, so better grab a pen and paper and take some notes.


Before actually choosing the space, you have to decide on how many guests you’re going to invite. Are you planning on having a children-only party or are their parents going to be there as well? Do you want kids to be in one room with an entertainer to take care of them, and parents in another where they can chat and relax together? When you decide on the guest list, you can start thinking whether you want to have the party at home or out of the house. If you decide on your home, the advantage is that your kid will be on their own turf, so they will be in a good mood. Also, at home you know where everything is.

You can stop kids from wandering around by defining party areas with balloons and decorations, and keep other rooms locked. If you don’t want all that creative mess happening in your home, so you can decide on renting a play room, having a party in a restaurant or at the park (if weather permits). Again, make sure to define different areas, keep an eye on them and put safety first. Additionally, it’s always good to have a contingency plan in case of bad weather or another unforeseen event, just don’t cancel everything and disappoint your child.

Entertainers will turn the party into a Fairy Tale

You have a big variety of entertainers to choose from today. You can hire a balloon artist, a magician, a clown, a dance instructor, professional storytellers, DJs, hairstylist (check the local hair salon for a recommendation), finger or face painters and many more. Sometimes you will know right away who to hire, but sometimes you will need to ask them about their show. Remember to ask about the age of the kids the show is designed for and how long it will last. You can gather references from other parents, or you can ask about the best entertainers in children’s museums and libraries. Also, if your kid loves animals, in some places you can rent a petting zoo or have a mobile petting zoo brought right to your backyard. Kids usually love those.

Quality food is equally important

Your guests (kids as well as grownups) are going to get tired pretty soon, so you have to prepare some refreshment and some nourishment. Make sure that the food you prepared is fun, creative, healthy and nourishing. If you don’t have time (or skill) to prepare the food by yourself, you can get fun, tasty and colourful food from companies dealing with finger food catering and they will prepare everything for you. Of course, you mustn’t forget about the cake. The cake should be the centre of attention when it comes to food, and make sure it gets nicely decorated. You can opt for your kid’s favourite cartoon character, hobby, sports team, car, musician or actor.

Fun decoration is the key

When it comes to decoration, first visit a party store. You can practically spend hours in there. There you can get piñatas, flags, party hats, balloons of all sizes and shapes, confetti, costumes and sculptures. You can also buy straws, party cups, plates, plastic forks and tablecloths there. Some stores rent bouncy castles and slides, so you can book those if you have a big backyard. Basically, you will be able to get everything in one place. If you’re planning on having the party out of the house, prepare balloons and everything to decorate the place. To put everything up, use something that won’t smear the walls, such as low-tick tape, string, and removable adhesive hooks. Here you can go back to your childhood days and just be creative with decoration. Also, you can prepare a nice outfit for your kid. Make sure your kid can easily move in it, and that it can get dry-cleaned.

A professional photographer

Maybe your kid won’t care about this aspect of the party, but you will. You want to keep memories of that happy day and remember all those smiling faces forever, so it’s best if you get all that on camera. You can tell the photographer to concentrate on some things you want to see on photos, but it’s best if they focus on emotions rather than setting and decoration.

We believe this little guide will help all of you who got stuck with planning and organizing your kid’s birthday party. What’s important is not to leave everything for the last moment and always have a contingency plan. This way, you’re going to throw your kid a perfect fairy tale birthday party they will remember forever.

Angela Berry
Editor, Ripped me W

Dear Jack: The Giant Slingshot at Your Cousin’s 6th Birthday Party

6 years, 7 months.

Dear Jack,

Last weekend, our family traveled to Fort Payne, Alabama; which is 2 hours and 40 minutes away. It would be a slightly longer drive, but we make no pit stops since Mommy and I refuse to stop along the way once both you and your sister are asleep.

It was your cousin Calla’s 6th birthday party… and it was a big one!

Your Uncle Andrew and Aunt Dana got a huge “jumpy house” for the backyard. I’ve never seen one that big for a private birthday party. It even had a slide!

But at least for you, the main attraction was the humongous slingshot that Papa and Uncle Andrew had built to launch water balloons.

Apparently, the object was to land the water balloon into the small plastic wading pool on the other side of the yard.

However, you were the only boy at the party. So it only makes sense that it didn’t take too long for a new goal to present itself…

You decided to make yourself a human target for the launching.

That’s right: Who can hit Jack with a water balloon, using this giant slingshot?

It was that event that made it obvious you were the only boy there at the party. Granted, you had no issues feeling out of place. I’m not sure that you even noticed you were the only boy.

But once you made yourself the human target on there for the giant slingshot, it was almost the equivalent of someone bringing a puppy to the party.

It was sort of like having a Labrador retriever running around the party. As if someone should have said, “Hey, why is that dog running around here?!”

My guess is, those little girls didn’t mind the opportunity to try to blast a boy their own age with a water balloon, with the help of a giant sling shot.

Yeah, it’s so obvious you’re a boy.



Dear Jack: That Time You Secretly Decided to Be a Nerf Sniper at Zeke’s Birthday Party

6 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

Last Saturday afternoon, our family attended your classmate’s 6th birthday party at his family’s house. Mommy and I held Holly, while we sat on the covered back porch, along with the other parents.

Pretty early on into the party, Zeke’s dad brought out the Nerf mini dart guns for all the kids to run around in the back yard and shoot each other, while all the adults casually watched the chaos.

After a few minutes of the 6 year-old version of the Hunger Games taking place, I looked up from holding your sister’s hand as she walked along the patio furniture, and saw you quietly standing there on the outside of the guard rail, appearing to take aim.

I was right.

Because then, I saw you pull the trigger, hitting one of your friends in the chest as he ran across the yard. He had no idea he had been hit by the Nerf Sniper.

Then I muttered to you, “Jack, are you standing up there and shooting them without them knowing what you’re doing?”

You smiled so sneakily and shook your head, yes.

Obviously, I was proud of you. After all, it was a free-for-all. There were no rules. No one said you had to stay down in the line of fire and get shot like everyone else.

Good for you, assuming the role of the sniper.

Your idea of fun wasn’t running around, laughing with your friends. Instead, your idea of fun was winning. This was not a game at a birthday party. This was war.

By the time the others figured out what you were doing, it was time to go inside for pizza and cake.

I imagine a few years from now when your friends start having laser tag birthday parties, you’re definitely going to have an advantage.