The Bean Museum

Posted by Carly Morgan

 

The Bean Museum at Brigham Young University. Kind of like the zoo, except much quieter and without the smell of animal poo.

 

Every time Eva squeals with excitement over an animal, stuffed or otherwise, I see a long and illustrious career as a veterinarian. No pressure.

All Too Much

Posted by Carly Morgan

We had a nice Easter. It was busy with family, but not in a make-you-crazy kind of way and we were able to round out the day with some quality time at home. I had a moment, though, on Easter Sunday when I realized that I might not be too awesome at this mothering thing. It was fairly fleeting and not too serious, but I thought I’d share.

So, this is Eva’s Easter basket:

 

For the record, I realized that it was too much stuff before I even packed it up into her wagon-basket. The overdoing of Easter was a little unintentional because a lot of this stuff was gathered over time and I forgot how much I had. It was a combination of redeemed Totsy credits, redeemed Gilt credits, free gifts from Etsy sellers, a free Shutterfly photo book, and a couple of coupon sales that I just couldn’t pass up. That being said, even with all my freebies and couponing, the remaining cost of everything took about a hundred dollars out of my pocket…more than I needed to spend on Eva’s second Easter.

It was all great stuff, though, and Kyle and I were both excited for Eva to open her basket. However, on Easter morning, we got up a little slowly and had to rush off to make it to church in time to grab a spot. From church we went down to my parents’ house, where Eva got an Easter basket and found plastic eggs filled with goodies. After that we came home and opened our Easter package from Kyle’s parents, which contained more Easter presents for Eva and some treats for us. It wasn’t until we were finished with all of that and well into Sunday evening that we got around to showing Eva her Easter basket and by then her entire day had been filled with opening gifts and receiving little presents.

Needless to say, she was not too impressed with what the Easter Bunny had brought. I think she was both gift-overloaded by that point and also only one year old, so she vaguely helped me take things out, but nothing was too thrilling, even when we assembled her new talking play zoo and dressed her up in her new princess dress and read all of her new touch-and-feel books. She didn’t care. The only thing she could get excited about was her new Radio Flyer wagon…and I’m pretty sure that’s just because we used it to take her to the playground. The rest was all just plastic noise to her.

After she went to bed, I was cleaning up the Easter carnage and I picked up one of the baby dolls she had received. It’s a little Madame Alexander doll with a sweet dress and a soft body and when I used Totsy credits to pick it up for her, I was so excited because I had a doll that looked just like it when I was little and I loved that thing to death. I imagined Eva getting excited about her new baby and carrying it around and having it be something that she’d have always. The reality was that I hadn’t even been able to get her to look at it twice before she tossed it on the ground and stepped on it to get a better look at the inside of the wagon.

Yes, I know that she’s one and it’s unrealistic for me to think that she was going to have a Clara and the Nutcracker moment with this little doll, but it’s not like this doll has very good odds of being loved. At this point, Eva has bins and bins and bins of toys. This doll is probably the thirtieth doll she owns and we already do snuggles and bedtime kisses and pretend feeding with other dolls in the house. So, having missed her shot at being this amazing Easter present, this doll just got kicked to the back of a long line if plastic items vying for her attention…even though it’s Madame Alexander and it’s darling and if some other little girl had gotten it in her Easter basket it could have been an amazing, special gift to be cherished. In our house, it’s a McDonald’s toy.

So, I had a moment where I really considered packing all of Eva’s new toys up and donating them. I felt guilty, because between Christmas and Hanukkah and her birthday and Easter, we’ve just been dumping new toy after new toy on her and that doesn’t even include the thrifted toys she’s received or the little surprises we pick up just because it’s a Tuesday. She has nine Breyer horses, six Little People playsets, five Disney princess dolls, and two Calico Critter homes (complete with families) but she has no favorite toy. There’s nothing that stands out for her because she’s constantly getting something new. The only thing she pulls out herself are her books and she’ll happily spend a half hour in the middle of a pile of toys reading the same board book over and over.

It was good that I had this little reality check and I did pack up a few toys to be saved for later. I think in our eagerness to give her everything she wants, we’re not actually giving her time to want anything. We’re also falling into the trap of collecting things that are free or discounted, even when we end up paying shipping or we don’t need that particular toy in our home. So, I’m on a baby purchase diet. No more thrifted toys. No more clearance rack outfits. No more little things just because it’s Tuesday and I love her. We’re going to make a real effort to focus on playing with the things she has as a family so she has time to cultivate a few favorites all on her own.

It’s a solid plan. I feel good about it.

spoiled rotten in her new ears from great-grandma and her Janie and Jack dress
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