Collections: Thoughts and Things Celebrate, Create, Contemplate. Repeat.

Best Happy Meal Toy Ever

With four kids, it’s probably not a surprise that we have consumed a few McDonalds Happy Meals along the way. For the first child, I managed to defer the popular munchkin munchie experience.  With the addition of subsequent sisters, I succumbed to convenience and camaraderie, and, let’s be honest, the french fries.

After we began annual 600 mile trips driving to see the grandparents, Happy Meals were a treat at mile 279 that we all looked forward to. (Again, small children do not usually eat all of their fries.)   Sometimes it was about having a fun lunch, and sometimes it was about “The Toy”.  So expertly marketed in collections. Once our meal contained a golden Nemo! Thinking it was similar to Charlie Bucket’s golden ticket, we all smiled. We still smiled when the prize was simply a free order of fries. Some toys head almost directly in to the donation box, and many have been enjoyed at home. We have a minion that says “Banana”, some great cars (and a pig) that zip across the floor, and mini Beanie Babies still in toy rotation. (Plus two saved ‘mint in bag’ which apparently have not appreciated to defray any college costs on the horizon). And a Barbie.

Yes, I played with Barbie growing up. Yes, we have some (many) in our home, But as a mother of daughters, I am not the greatest fan of the disproportionate role model that is Barbie. But I LOVE this Barbie.  She’s been leading “Happy Birthday” singing and heartfelt wishes at least 6-10 times a year (with her smile never faltering, for the Von Trapps we are not. . .).  She has been doing this for almost 15 years.  Four kids plus friends playing with it and still working? Any toy played with 150+ times? Now that’s a toy that makes me happy. Cheers to McD’s and Mattel.

Mattel 1999


Morning, afternoon and evening, she’s always ready for a party. For our family birthdays, and when we celebrate with others, she has graced many a cake, cookie, pumpkin pie and cantaloupe (don’t ask, we were snowed in).  Barbie 1 At home, in the park and at a restaurant. She’s traveled to Montana and California, and returned to the Emerald City. And yes she’s been to a few Starbucks.

Watch the candle on the cake.

Ready,  Set

Ready, Set



Push a button in her back and ta-da, a ‘lit’ birthday candle. Can you see the glow?

Take as long as you want to make a wish, no wax will puddle on your dessert. Or “Mommy, Mommy, can I light it?” asked my small child. Yes, yes, in this case yes!  “As many times as you like.” As this Barbie toy approaches 15, we may have to push on the button a bit longer, but she still is doing a terrific job. Now that’s a trait to model.

When at home, she shares the stage with real candles. Is there an embarrassment factor when out and about? A bit.  Not a significant downside for me. Balances out some of those McDonalds times when ketchup covered my ‘I-can-do-it-myself” precious kiddles.  I took Barbie to celebrate a party for a friend, a single guy with no kids last year–priceless. Or it could have just been the reaction to me whipping a toy out of my purse at a restaurant. . . Any hoo, many, many fun times.

The girls look forward to seeing Barbie front and center on the kitchen table every birthday. I do too.

The Best Happy Meal Toy Ever.

Why Barbie today?  It’s my one year Blog-iversary! Woo Hoo!

Quite the fun journey from post #1

More collections of thoughts and things to come.  Now where’s that cake . . .

Barbie 5

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