Help Me Do Something I Hate!

As some of you may know, Ben’s 2nd birthday is coming up. Another thing you might know - I hate planning things. I’m horrible at it. I love having people over to hang out at the house, but I am awful when it comes to actually planning get togethers. However, with Ben’s impending birthday looming over the horizon, and the fact that pretty much every relative I run into is aware of it and has asked me what we’ve got going on with the party, I have to plan something.

So, after weeks of searching the internet, making phone calls, doing on-site visits and reading contracts, we’ve finally found a place to hold his birthday party. We’re not having it at the house this year because a) too many people for one little house and b) we’re putting our house up for sale within the next month (which I’ll discuss in another post). Now comes the little details that I hate trying to think of and figure out, so this is where you, my wonderful, intelligent, good looking, kind hearted readers can help out. So, here are some of the aspects of his party that I’m debating over, I’d be happy to hear any comments, criticisms or advice that you might have…

  • Invitations: Haven’t started them yet. I have a ton to send out. If I had time, I would have done something remotely creative but these things were supposed to be sent out weeks ago. Might just cut up some old printer paper and scrawl the date and location on it, shove it in an envelope, throw a stamp on it and send it out. If I feel a little creative I just might put “Ben’s Birthday Party” at the top so people will know what they’re going to.
  • Entertainment: Not sure what to provide as entertainment for his birthday. I want to have something at the party so it’s not just people in a room eating, cutting cake and going home. Most of the kids that will be at the party are under the age of four. I don’t want to get a clown because it’s a proven fact that they scare kids. I don’t have the room for a bouncy thing for kids to play on. Most of the kids are too young to understand the concept of magic (because really, isn’t everything magical to a 2 year old?). I’m thinking of a balloon animal artist…but they’ve got to be REALLY good. Like making bicycles good.
  • Party Favors: Most party favors out there aren’t for kids under 3. Sure, I can through candy in their goody bags, but I’d also like the kids to have a cool little favor from his birthday. Last year I bought some cheap sand buckets and put some candy, clappers and Sesame Street tattoos in there (which I tried on Ben a couple months ago and the tattoo lasted for 2 weeks on the kid!). I’ll stop by the party store later this week to see if there’s anything I can find.
  • Food: This is something that’s going to affect everyone, and it’s gotta be good! Not sure if I should go with a catering company, or order trays of food from Portillo’s, or get some orange chicken from Panda Express, or get a bunch of pizzas from Little Caesar’s, or get some Filipino food or get a combination of all of the above. We’re expecting about 80 people (yeah, I know, having a huge family is cool most of the time, until you’re trying to feed them all!) which doesn’t count the mini-people under the age of 3. They don’t get to eat, they can just grab scraps off their parents plates or eat what falls on the floor.
  • Cake: This is the item I will do a lot of research on, because the cake is everything to me! I love cake! Ben had an awesome birthday cake last year that was delicious, but it was just too far away to order again. I’m going to check out the local places to see what they’ve got.

Hmm…I think that’s where I’m at right now. Whaddya think?


We had a pretty low key Easter. It didn’t seem like there was any family shindig going on, and we’ve been too busy cleaning up the house to really plan anything. I had called some really good buffet places, but they were all booked up months before Easter. Finally, I just made some reservations at my favorite restaurant, Cafe Iberico. Dave’s parents hadn’t been there yet, and it’s been a LONG time since I had me some croquetas de pollo.

Lunch was good, it was my dad, sisters, brother Redpac, Dave’s parents, Dave and Benjamin. Dave’s brother was supposed to go, but he had to take his little guy to puppy kindergarten, so we headed out to his place afterwards for an afterset. Watched a couple NCAA upsets and almost-upsets, had an easter egg hunt with Ben, and just chilled out. For dinner, we went to Aloha Eats for some much missed Hawaiian food - it was pretty, even though the menu is a little limited (where’s my moco loco!?!?) but I’ll definitely go there again since there aren’t too many Hawaiian restaurants in Chicago.

Hope you all had a good Easter holiday!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you all! Hope that 2008 brings much happiness to you and your loved ones.

Today is the first day of the rest of my life. I know that sounds cheesy, but I really want to make an effort this year to make my life better. Last year, in comparison to other years, wasn’t my best or happiest. I’ve lost a bit of myself, and this year, I want to get it back. I want to make this year one that I can reflect on and think, “Man, this was one awesome year!”

I think this year I’m going to start password protecting some posts - not the whole blog, but this is the first time I feel that it’s necessary to hide my “public” thoughts from the general public. There are just times that I want to rant, rave and scream to the high heavens about crap, but I can’t because of people who might be reading or the trouble I might get into for speaking my mind. It’s sad, but I think that venting here would make life a little easier.

But enough of this negativity!

2008 started out pretty well. Dave, unfortunately, was on call, so he couldn’t be at our family party, but outside of that, it was more or less the same New Year’s eve I’ve been having for all of my life. We went to my aunt’s place, ate TONS of food (I made pasta, chocolate butter cupcakes with coffee cream cheese frosting and Illini cupcakes - orange flavored cupcakes with lemon buttercream “I”s) and played video games. Since only a couple people could play at one time, I suggested we play “Spoons”, a game we used to play as kids. It’s a pretty physical and violent card game, kind of like “Musical Chairs”, but instead of everyone having to grab a seat, they have to grab a spoon. It was a lot of fun, and it was nice to do something that didn’t need to be plugged in or controllers. We were all able to play together, interact, laugh and hit each other - and all we needed was a deck of cards and some plastic spoons. It was suggested that next time we up the stakes and play with knives instead. :-P

We then stayed up to the wee hours playing Scattergories, yet another game we played as kids, and Marlon kicked our asses, which was pretty sad since he had been drinking a lot. We tried to watch some “Paranormal State” but it was hard to be scared with the clicking of mah jong tiles in the background. After that, we watched “Curse of the Golden Flower” since it was subtitled, but I was exhausted so I went to the room where I had abandoned my child and went to sleep.

So now I’m back home and Dave’s tired and sleepy since he was up all night at the hospital. I was nice and shoveled the driveway and we’re now watching the Tournament of Roses parade…getting ready to watch the Illini play USC.