Sunday, May 10, 2009


One of the things I love about spring is the magnificent blooms in our rose garden. I can't take credit for them, but the previous woman of our house (of 30+ years) was a dedicated gardener. And fortunately, she left at least 10 rose bushes in perfect condition. They are remarkably easy to care for and produce blooms month after month from May to September. I sometimes hope she drives by her old home to admires her work and is happy that we have cared enough to take care of them.

Birthday Boy

Charlie celebrated his third birthday last Friday. I thought it fitting to write about the occasion on Mother's Day while everyone in the house is taking a nap. Yea!

First of all, I hoped that Charlie would wake up on his third birthday fully potty-trained and completely free of all of the behavior issues we've been dealing with over the past year. Nope. Nothing. In fact, I think he spent most of the day at school sitting on the naughty bench. Maybe he peaked on his third birthday, and we'll start moving down the slope toward a happy, well-behaved child by the age of four. Is that too optimistic?

On Friday, he participated in the around the world birthday tradition at his school. All of the students gather in a circle to watch the birthday boy or girl travel around the sun while holding the earth. Technically, you are only supposed to go around the sun the number of years you are. If Charlie's rotations around the sun mean anything, he would be about 20 right now. He enjoyed getting to take part in this ceremony and definitely liked all of the attention, unlike last year. After walking around the sun, he got to show his friends and schoolmates pictures of his life up until the age of three. That part was awesome.

That evening, we took Charlie to his favorite restaurant - El Mezcal (or El Moo-cow in Charlie-ese). He got the royal birthday treatment with the sombrero, a birthday song in Spanish, and a GIANT bowl of ice cream that I was sure he would not be able to finish. He did.

On Saturday, we had planned a very low-key inexpensive birthday party for him, his schoolmates, and friends. We had planned a park party in Overton Park. I mean, what 3 year-old thinks he's getting jipped by getting to spend the day in the park with 30 of his closest pals? For free? Unfortunately, we had rain the entire weekend, so we had to cancel the party. I should have known better than to plan an outdoor party (with no rain plan) on the same weekend as Musicfest. Duh!

A lot of parents of the kids invited seemed to be surprised that I did not want to reschedule or take all of the kids to some indoor location. But please, the kid is only three. It's not like I crushed all of hopes and dreams by cancelling his party. He will have plenty of years ahead (that he will actually remember) to have more elaborate birthday celebrations. I also don't have the money for an alternative indoor location. After the food, cupcakes, and cheap party favors, I had already spent more money than I wanted to. I am relishing the time that have left that I can get away with being a cheapskate for my child's birthday. Besides, Charlie got to have an extra special day in spite of us cancelling the party. He got to have his first ever playdate.

His BFF from school came over for a few hours. And boy did they play! At first, we weren't sure what to do with them, it being our first play date and all. Do we play with them? Do we leave them alone? We opted to let them hang out in Charlie's room for a while and test the waters. After a minute or two, we heard the two of them giggling in Charlie's room. I checked on them and they were totally fine and perfectly happy dragging out every toy Charlie has ever owned. Twenty minutes later, they were ready to lick the icing off of the birthday cupcakes.

My dad and sister also came by to wish Charlie a happy birthday and brought "presidents" for Charlie to open. So he had a great day after all.

(And to all the parents out there who thought it was odd that I requested you not bring gifts to his party - again, he's only 3. And my house is only so big that I cannot spare one more corner to house all of the toys that Charlie owns. I can assure you that I am not one of those hardcore anti-material parents who does not allow my son to have toys. He got plenty of presents from us, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and friends. He was well lavished.)
Happy birthday my beautiful boy! I hope you had a wonderful third birthday!

Saturday, May 9, 2009