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today we had finally had paul's birthday party. we had originally planned to have it last saturday, but it turned out to be logistically difficult. as days passed, i figured we wouldn't be having one at all. since all gifts had been accounted for (or so i thought), i wasn't sure if a party was a good idea because paul would expect more.

well. never underestimate the ability of family to spoil your child. when i found out on friday that gifts had been held back for the occasion of a party, i have to admit i was pretty irritated.

last night i baked a cake. i just used the chocolate chip cookie/cake mix we already had, plus i made a yummy chocolate icing from a kosher recipe i found online. to be completely honest, these cakes -- which are positively packed with gluten, egg and dairy substitutes -- are not really for eating. for occasions like this, they are just necessary to hold candles. paul isn't a big sweets eater, nor does he expect to eat cake. (he does like the icing, though. we were nibbling at the extras with a spoon this morning.)

we ate our fill, then paul blew out his candles and opened gifts. he got a "cooties" game, two books and a tin of tinkertoys. we all sat on the floor and played. cam, his dad and his uncle talked about making complicated mechanical things out of tinkertoys. maybe i should get sets for each of them for christmas.

in the backyard, paul and i played running and chasing games (cam played with us the first time we went outside, but when we went out later cam stayed inside). it was exhausting but fun. i'm so sedentary. i really needed to run off some of that food. paul suddenly decided that he wanted to play with his sandbox. i tried to make a mini zen garden with a little broom, but paul had other ideas. he eventually climbed out of the sandbox with the declaration that he was going to plant sand on the lawn. i tried to explain that sand wouldn't grow, but paul's three. he's not listening. i turned cartwheels to try to distract paul. sand appeared in many little piles all over the backyard. i apologized to my mother-in-law for the mess. she laughed it off.

after a few moments of playing inside -- it was getting dark out -- cam took myself and my mother home. (paul wasn't ready to leave.) i was worn out and ready to nap, but instead i dealt with laundry and various household tasks until cam returned with paul. it was a good day.



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