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The Real Birthday Party Stress

As a parent planning a birthday party, you know it isn’t easy.  I remember when I was a kid, it seemed like it meant just cake and ice cream at your house, and the whole neighborhood of kids would come over, and it was a fun afternoon.  Now it means party planners, caterers, and party locations all the kids in the class will enjoy.

But the biggest stress for me in planning a birthday party is the RSVP situation.  Granuaile’s birthday party this year is in six days, and with the RSVP deadline looming in less than 48 hours, I have only gotten 2 – count ’em – TWO RSVPs.  I’ve sent out about 20 invitations.  Yes, my fellow party planning parents, panic has set in.

I don’t want to be obnoxious and start calling people.  And I am definitely second guessing my decision to have the party at 7:30 on a Saturday night.  My thinking was that because she wanted a Cosmic birthday party (where the lights are out and everything glows), it would be cool to do it at night; and on a Saturday night, the kids could go straight from the party, home to bed.  Or maybe it’s the location?  Granuaile has attended two parties at this place, and she loves them and insisted on her party being here.  Now I wonder if I should have talked her out of it.

It doesn’t take much time to RSVP to an invitation.  I always include my email address for the phone-a-phobes like myself, and I put our phone number for those people who are doing their paperwork and going through mail in the car line at school (yeah, that’s me).  So I’m not sure why people don’t RSVP.

Of course, I can say this with just a little bit of smugness, as the invitations that have been sitting on my desk have all been RSVPd to in the past couple of days.  But maybe I’m a dying breed?

So, with less than a week away, do we think of rescheduling the much anticipated by Granuaile birthday party, or be obnoxious and make phone calls?

Next year, I’m so just taking them to dinner and a movie on their birthdays!


My Own Post-Op Recovery Guide

I’ve learned a lot about recovering from surgery in the past few years – as I am now a veteran of three c-sections; gallbladder removal; gastric bypass; bowel obstruction; tummy tuck; and brachioplasty.  There are some comfortable surgeons riding around in luxury cars thanks in small part to my health insurance.

I have yet to walk into one of these surgical offices, though, and have them give me a real life guide to what you need to know in recovery.  I’ve compiled a short list myself of the things you need to know.  Consider these specific to my recent surgery, where the use of my arms and back has been restricted, but feel free to apply these lessons to any surgical recovery:

Drying your hair –

You’ve just spent thousands of dollars on plastic surgery so that you’ll look your best.  Good luck with that, honey, because for the next few weeks, the back of your head is gonna look like a nest of rats lives there.  You won’t be able to reach to dry your hair, properly brush your hair, or even scrunch your hair so it looks like you intentionally want your hair to look like a rat’s nest.  Invest in a wig.

Smacking your husband –

You know you’re gonna have to do it – because husbands have just a certain way about them that irritates the crap out of you at a time when you least need your crap to be irritated.  He’ll make fun of the hair you can’t properly fix, or he’ll laugh at you as you are trying to squeeze your swollen, uncomfortable self into something cute and slightly sexy, so you at least feel somewhat human.  The temptation will be there, and I understand.  You want to haul off and smack him, as hard as you can, preferably into an unconsciousness that will last until you are totally healed.

Stop right there, girlfriend.  Hauling off and smacking your husband is going to be more pain than it’s worth – seriously.  You risk opening up your incisions, and that could get ugly.  Don’t do it.  Instead, spike his drink with a bit of your pain meds, and hopefully, that will knock him out long enough for you to get some peace and quiet.

And Speaking Of –

Let me take this opportunity to recommend a conversion to an all liquid, no waste diet.  Attending to the, ummmm, necessary routines of hygiene have just become outrageously difficult, and the aforementioned ass of a husband will either flat out refuse to assist you in your post lavatory needs or make fun of you mercilessly.  As we’ve already determined, smacking him is not an option.  I opted to, ummm, hold it in until I could attend to things myself.  Perhaps investing in a bidet??

It doesn’t matter how good your insurance is –

Visiting nurses will not come to your house and help you to apply your eye makeup.  And – go figure – the emergency room doesn’t consider this OBVIOUS emergency to be an OBVIOUS emergency – even if you tell them it’s the new LashStash mascara from Sephora.  And believe me, if you’re like me, it takes a while to cake all that makeup on your eyes to hide the wrinkles and dark circles, and your arms get tired while they’re bandaged.  Skip Sephora and head for Sunglass Hut.  What you can’t see in the mirror won’t bother you nearly as much.

Cherish Your Children –

I have to thank my girls for being so helpful these past few weeks.  Eilis made dinner last night by herself, and Granuaile is always throwing on her apron to help out with things in the kitchen.  Of course, you know they aren’t doing it out of the kindness of their hearts – they’re hoping there’s a puppy in this as a reward…