Polk Moms

Connecting moms in Polk County, Fla.

We have two kids, a boy age 11 and a girl age 14 that both have birthdays on February 14th. It gets pretty expensive to try to have two birthday parties and buy gifts for Valentine's Day as well. I'd like to buy gifts and have them be for both occasions. Plus, I think they're at an age where they can understand my reasoning. Is this a good idea and do you have any suggestions on gifts for kids this age as well as other friends and family?

My sister and I both had birthdays on Valentine's Day. Our parents combined gifts for our birthdays and for Valentine's Day. Since this was always the case in our family, it just seemed normal. Let them know what your plans are and the reasons. They are certainly old enough to understand. It probably won't even be a big deal. If they do become upset, things will get better as the years go by. - Josh L. in St. Peters, MO
Actually, many parents do the same thing, especially if their kids' birthdays falls on some sort of a holiday or special day of the year. Explain your reasoning to them and don't feel guilty. They may not be too thrilled with the decision, but they'll get used to it. Later, if things change and you feel financially comfortable with separating the two, it'll be a surprise. Another option would be that if you get them birthday gifts, explain that the Valentine's Day gifts will be for the whole family. The hand-held P-touch Label Maker (PT-H100) by Brother is great to share with everyone and it's awesome. It's super cool to operate, can be easily used on the go and has various color selections for the labels. There are many uses for it besides getting everyone's items organized and is perfect for labeling gifts or even writing out little notes and attaching them to things. Kids and adults love it. The newly released motorcycle racing video game, Moto Racer 4, is a great price, $39.99, and perfect for kids and their parents, grandparents or others for a fun friendly family game night to play together. It isn't crazy fancy or hard, especially for first time gamers. Other things to consider for the family or for others might be good books or movies. There are tons of them available and you could even do a little research on the topics you know people are interested in. Don't forget board games. Hasbro has many versions to choose from including Monopoly Game Star Wars, which is amazing! (All items are available at Amazon.) There's a multitude of gifts to consider, so start early. If you do go with the idea of buying something for the whole family for Valentine's Day, let everyone put in their own suggestion for what it might possibly be.

We have twins, one girl and one boy, and are attempting potty training. It's been a tough go because the girl seems to wait until her brother does something before trying it. He could care less about it. Any ideas how to get him interested? They will be three in August and have to be trained before they can go to preschool.

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