Oh baby, it’s hot outside!


This year we here in southern California have been particularly fortunate where our weather is concerned. During the winter and spring, we got rain – not too much, not none at all, but enough to make our lawns green and flowers bloom. And May, June, July, and even the first part of August came with warm days and cool, comfortable nights.

But we all (at least the people in my house) knew deep down what was coming.

Four years ago at this time I was pregnant with Max. He was working toward being two weeks late, and as the temperature crept toward its apex, I got more and more anxious to meet him. What I didn’t realize at the time was that having him during the worst heat of the year would have an immediate, positive effect on my comfort it would mean that, for the next 18 years (ok, at least the next 10 or so) I would be holding a birthday party during…yep, you guessed it…the worst heat of the year.

Yesterday, we celebrated Max’s 4th year of hanging out with us. And, true to form, the temperature hit 100 degrees, after climbing steadily all week from last Saturday’s high of 80-ish. We were joined by our entire California family in addition to some friends and people we don’t see very often (William, on leave from the Marines, and Sara (a friend from Clever Knits) and her sons Bennet and Jude).

We rented a Bounce Castle – the best birthday party investment EVER – and Max and his guests (including some of the adults) bounced until they were sweaty and red in the face, then came out to have a drink and went right back in. For the six hours we had it, it may have been empty for about 20 minutes.

Besides the bounce castle, the other request Max had for his party was a piñata. We’d arranged to have the party at Kit Carson Park, which has a very specific rule regarding piñatas – they must NOT be hung from the trees. So although Aunt Crissy procured both the piñata and the candy, we still had to come up with a safe way to suspend it so the kids could whack the heck out of it. My lovely husband came up with a solution – stringing it between two 10 foot 2 x 4s, and having the posts held by, and I quote, “two big guys.” For the most part this worked perfectly, the only exception being when my brother-in-law Brett nearly got pulled over. Luckily for Brett this was one of the few moments not captured on video (oh, and he recovered valiantly with no injury done to him, the child whose turn it was, nor the piñata itself).

I made Max’s birtday cake (he requested a tank cake), but because we were at a park, without ample refrigeration, by the time we cut it, it was totally melty and falling apart. Although it looked pretty icky, it still tasted good.

So tomorrow, Max will officially be four. He’s turning out to be quite an entertaining little person, and we all love him to bits. He’s a perfect little brother, generous with both his demands and hugs; an admirable big brother, playing with Penny more and more as she becomes more interactive; and a wonderful son, never hesitating to tell us how much we love to do whatever it is he wants to do. He’s funny and charming and I don’t know how we got along without him.

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