October 23, 2020

Birthday Bonaza


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I want to travel the world with my little ones. I want to find the beauty & joy in parenting. I want to raise good people. I want to enjoy style & beauty. I want to create a warm & beautiful home. This is where I share my attempts at doing it all...


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Phew, friends… where have the past months gone? Oh yeah, they were lost to trying desperately to keep up with 4 kids doing virtual school & still make deliveries for my photography clients. I know I am preaching to the choir, but chaos…

But this week has been a huge sign of relief — all four kids are back to school in person. And for the first time in 11! years, I have 5 days a week of focused time from 8AM to 3PM. Y’all, it’s like a whole new world…

But, before you start imagining that I am over here getting manis and pedis and lunching everyday, let me assure you that while I did schedule a catch up with some mom friends this week, the rest of the week has been devoted to – you guessed it – the kids.

See, here in the DeFrehn household, we have 3 of the 4 kids birthdays between the beginning of October and the beginning of November. And while I have check one of those birthdays off with an awesome backyard movie fest, I am still wading through the birthday swamp.

Up next are my soon to be 9 year old and soon to be 4 year olds. Planning for their small celebrations are under way, but today I am focused on the gifts for these two. Let’s start by leveling and admitting that neither of these kids really need anything, so the lists are fully wants. And while that is okay, I do really strive to be thoughtful with our gift giving. We are working to teach the kids things like just because the school year starts, doesn’t mean a new backpack each year and just about anything can work for a ballet bag, but it’s okay to ask for things like that for your birthday if you want something new but know you don’t really need it. And as you will see, those are so of the exact things on our littles lists this year.

So, what do I recommend for gift ideas? Here you go…

9 Year Old Girly-Girl Gifts

4 Year Old Little Builder Boy Gifts

My little guy – who would kill me for calling him little – loves to build and create. He is constantly creating towers and buildings with his magnatiles but lately he has been showing a lot of interest in legos. And not the age appropriate Duplo Legos, but the full on step-on-them-and-die-of pain tiny Legos. I kid you not, I used to say that if you saw me give a kid Legos as a gift, you knew the mom had made me mad & this was my revenge. Alas, I have come around in my 11 years (or maybe my feet are just numb now) & while I may still make that joke, I have loved watching my boys learn to build from their big sisters. And so here I am, planning to buy my almost 4 year old a couple of pieces from the Ocean Explorations set that he has been talking about non-stop for weeks on end. Cest la vie…

The Lego sets are the first and foremost on his mind, but I love Playdough as a gift for this age. Find me a 4-year-old who doesn’t love to play with Playdough – you can’t. They all love it. And Playdough gets used up and dried out so it doesn’t even matter if you are duplicating. Besides, when was the last time you squished fresh Playdough in your hands??? Such a soothing feeling…

And last, yes, a new backpack is in order for this kid. It might not be something that he is asking for but since he has only ever used hand-me-down backpacks, we think he is going to be pretty psyched to get a green version of the same backpack big brother sports.


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