- Ted & Debbie (Photographers)
The Birthday Fairy was up late putting final touches on things that needed attention around the house. Flowers, decorations and presents all present and accounted for. The alarm clock goes off at 5:30 am. It’s Theo’s 10th birthday and we’re up even earlier then usual to cook 3 pounds of bacon for 5 lunches. Theo’s favorite-BLT sandwiches. In our house, with our persnickety cast, it’s never easy.Â Let’s see… Theo and Ollie like B&L, Sam and Henry like BLT and Simon wants the B, that’s just bacon.
If Theo had his way he would sleep in, but it’s a school day and there’s just time to open one gift and look through his birthday album. Debbie has made a birthday album for each boy. It’s a simple and beautiful tradition. One photo from the from the past year. The kids love to see how much they have changed which each turn of the page.
As usual, we are running late, but this morning we can’t forget the brownies Debbie and Simon made for Theo’s birthday celebration at school. It’s a busy morning for the Birthday Fairy as she Â loads up the mini van and starts the dropping off Â the boys at school.
I’m on Â pick up duty today. I need a list so I don’t forget who I’m either taking from south campus Â to north campus or just watching. Today it’s super confusing, if I lose the list I’m in trouble. Ollie has reading after school so I need to watch Pasha, Mimi, O’Loren, and Laney only till 3:00 when Laney’s mom comes to pick Laney up then I get Ollie early from reading at 3:10 then take Ollie, Pasha and Mimi to south campus, deliver them to their parents then pick up Henry and Theo and today Dominick who is coming home to goof off with Theo and have birthday dinner with us later on. All present and accounted for we arrive home Â and the boys skateboard in front of the house for awhile.
The boys skateboard and I walk to the pet store with them to get goldfish to stock the pond in our yard. Or in other words, to get more racoon food. Â The guy working at the pet store Â is very patient with us asÂ the boys have a blast picking out their favorite goldfish while scooting around the store with their skateboards. With instructions on how to gradually introduce the goldfish into our ponds’ water we leave without breaking anything.
Simon looks at the bag of goldfish and dumps them all into the pond. These fish better be hardy, they’ve been transported to the Land of the Catanzaro Boys where one slip up could be their last.
It’s time for dinner. Steak, french fries, salad and lots of red wine. Sam is at Universal Studios for Halloween Fright Night with friends from school and one of his teachers. It’s the first time I can remember where one of the boys has been absent from a birthday celebration. Omi brings an ice cream birthday cake and I break out the ukulele and attempt to play while we all sing Happy Birthday to Theo. It’s late, way past bedtime. The house is a mess. The day is winding down. Theo is in bed playing around with his new camera by the light of his new lava light. It’s been a nice day. Happy Birthday Theo!
I really don’t like store bought flowers. There’s something about the green filler, the cellophane and the ribbon which makes the experience so far removed from where the flower comes from that I don’t like. I know it is the thought that counts but hey, maybe it’s just me. Today for Debbie’s birthday Theo, Ollie, Simon and I went to Temescal Canyon to pick a birthday bouquet. I know this is probably illegal but Mommy is worth the risk.
Of course Simon fell asleep on the way but it is no problem because Vin Scully is on the radio. It’s get away day for the Dodgers and that means a rare Thursday day game. I have no problem with waiting with Simon while Vin tells his tales. Theo and Ollie run off armed with buckets and nets to the creek.
By the time we make our way to the creek I discover that no wildflowers have been picked but 3 salamanders have been captured. “Mommy will love these!” they say. We bring our 3 captives on our flower, acorn and pine cone hunt but all agree to release the captives.
Back home, the Dodgers lost in the 9th, it’s time to get ready for birthday dinner at the Korean Kogi Taco Truck which just so happens to be parked at Santa Monica College from 3-6 pm today. The idea, since we’ve never experienced the Kogi truck before, is to slowly order a few items and picnic on the small grassy area in front on the SMC library and just keep on ordering till we are stuffed. The Kogi truck has other ideas. At 5:00 it takes down its sign, rolls off the blocks and closes up the kitchen. With us still hungry,Â we run after it and unbeknown to me as dozens of our dear friends are either just parking and are on their way -one of which has champagne!
Still hungry and a bit down hearted I take my three little salamander hunters to Beard Papa’s for cream puffs and The Wine Expo for bubbly. The Wine Expo is a wine store with heart and an understanding for food. I go in andÂ say, “We just had Kogi tacos, and are having Beard Papa’s for dessert, can you recommend a champagne?”Â The clerk say, ” I wouldn’t go for a Champagne, I would recommend a Prosecco or a Cremant.”
Back at our place, we light a fire, pop a cork, open a few beers, the kids are playing the piano, guitar or hide and seek all at the same time. Debbie is opening up gifts and blowing out a candle on her cream puff. Happy Birthday to you, you live in a zoo. It’s a nice zoo though.
This was one of those mornings where you get lost in Grownup Reality. What I mean is after a morning of alarms going off (smoke & wake-up), making breakfasts, lunches, rushing to get the kids off to school on time (well, sort of) a conference call across the country, hurrying here and there we finally landed at Ollie’s birthday celebration at school. But, unlike landing at an airport in a strange city where you need to deal with the reality of luggage, crowds, transportation and getting to your hotel, landing in Miss Saras’ Kinder class is a reality that brings us back to the reality we have forgotten a long time ago. A place of crowns and capes, a place of birthday candles and wishes, a place of baking cake, a place of lovely stories. Thank you for the reality check Miss Sara.