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Birthdays, kids and date nights, oh my

This past weekend, we celebrated Anaïs’s fourth trip around the sun. Fourth! It was her first birthday party with friends from school, so it felt really special both for her and for our family. What didn’t feel so special, however, was how much planning actually went into it. The thing is, I’m not the Pinterest...

1410937_10153249014886899_4433059200452555158_oThis past weekend, we celebrated Anaïs’s fourth trip around the sun. Fourth! It was her first birthday party with friends from school, so it felt really special both for her and for our family. What didn’t feel so special, however, was how much planning actually went into it. The thing is, I’m not the Pinterest party mom. (For those of you who are, hats off to you! I marvel at your superhuman abilities to get it done.) I can’t do themes or matching decor or games or bounce houses. It’s just not my style. A few balloons here, a cake there, pizza, time outdoors and lots of free playtime was more what I was thinking. And guess what: We did it! The party went off without a hitch.
I was a little bit nervous about how Akira would do with so many children around him. Actually, not just children, but adults as well. He’s always been very good in social situations, but he’s never really been surrounded by 50 or so people to celebrate a birthday party. Also, I knew I’d be occupied with Anaïs and wouldn’t be able to give him as much attention as I normally do. Thankfully, my mother-in-law Diane flew into town for the festivities and was a tremendous amount of help with everything.
akirabathI pumped a bottle for Akira, so I wouldn’t have to press pause on my responsibilities during the party. Grandma hung out with him, held him, fed him, changed him and even got him to take a little snooze during the party while Jesse and I mingled with the other parents, got to chat with our friends and gathered the children for the birthday song, presents and cake. With the weather cooperating and all the kids having a ball, her party in the park was a success!
The day’s events completely wore Akira out. By the time 6 o’clock rolled around, he was ready to wind down. Diane insisted Jesse and I take that night for ourselves and have a date. So as she was giving Akira a bath, Anaïs was sitting at the table finishing her dinner, and Jesse and I slipped out for a nice evening walk to one of the neighborhood restaurants. We dined al fresco, had some cocktails and a meal and were able to have a proper date where we didn’t have to rush home because we had to relieve a babysitter. It’s days like that that enable me to take a step back and just revel in the life we are building. At the end of the day, that’s what makes life so worth living.