Last month we celebrated Daniel’s 2nd birthday! I can’t believe our little man is already 2 years old!
The morning of his birthday party was really hectic. We were expecting a few people to help but they were unavailable for most of the morning for various reasons. Tary was stressed trying to get the house ready. I reminded her to relax and that we could only do what we could get to. We needed to ask ourselves, “If I did this, would it make Daniel any happier today?” If the answer was “no”, then it was okay to be left undone.
I went outside at around 9 AM to set up the bounce house. I left it overnight sitting just outside of my basement door. I spread the provided tarp on the lawn where I wanted the bounce house to go. I tried pushing the rolled up vinyl but it was too heavy; it would not budge. I did not care that it was over 200 lbs! I was NOT going to FAIL my son on his birthday!
I squatted beside it and started lifting upward. Slowly I got it upright. I pushed it over toward the tarp. I had to do it at least 3 or 4 more times to get it onto the tarp. Now I know what it feels like to compete in the Tire Flip event of the World’s Strongest Man competition.
I undid the straps and unrolled the vinyl material. I hoped the bounce house would open up facing the right direction. Unfortunately it opened up in the opposite direction. It was so heavy that I had to tug a few feet at a time at each corner until I got it facing the right way.
I hooked up the blower and turned it on. The bounce house was inflated a few minutes later. The inside was really wet from sitting outside in the rain the day before. Before I could dry it with some towels, Daniel saw it from the patio window. He excitedly shouted “Shoes! Shoes! Shoes!” as he scrambled to find and put them on. I wasn’t about to say no to him on his birthday so I brought him outside. He was apprehensive entering the bounce house at first so I went in first and he followed behind. I loved how happy he was jumping around. I also loved that it was just the two of us.
After we went back inside, Tary left with Daniel to pick up the decorations. It was nice that he got to spend some extra time with her. It was also a lot easier for me to watch Matthew by myself. They returned with a bunch of helium-filled balloons and other decorations. Tary shared that Daniel asked for a balloon and cried after it flew away when he accidentally let it go. Tary rushed to tie the remaining balloons in and around the house.
Tary left again to pick up the food after we put Daniel down for a nap. I gave Matthew a bath while she was away. When she returned, we managed to get the rest of the house ready by 2 PM. People started to arrive so I hurried to give Daniel a bath after he woke from his nap.
It was really great that so many kids were able to come to Daniel’s party. Our Godson Andrew was great with Daniel like a big brother. Sometimes the older kids would jump and cause Daniel to get tossed around in the bounce house. But Andrew was always mindful of Daniel and made sure Daniel was safe and had fun.
Daniel also enjoyed playing along our neighbor’s son, Jake. It was great seeing our neighbor Ramo and his son Aiden having fun as well. I haven’t spent much time around his son before but he quickly became comfortable playing with me. It’ll be nice if our kids continue to play and grow up together.
We just let Daniel play and enjoy himself for most of the afternoon. He had fun jumping in the bounce house, hitting balls off the tee, and running around. I shadowed him so he knew I was always nearby. I felt a little bad that I couldn’t socialize with everyone as much as I would have liked but it was Daniel’s day and I loved seeing how happy it made him that I was with him.
I was a little concerned that we didn’t order enough food. My concerns were validated; even though we had some extra prepared food from our parents, the food was demolished. I asked if people were still hungry but I was relieved that the majority of them said they were full.
It was around 5:30 PM and Tary got the cake ready. She ordered a strawberries and cream flavored cake (same as our wedding cake) from Russo’s. I gathered everyone outside. The wind made lighting the candles tricky and it was still light out so it was hard to see if they were lit. Tary held onto Daniel as everyone sang “Happy Birthday”. He was a little shy with all of the attention on him. Tary helped him blow out the candles. The cake was delicious!
Most of our guests had left and only a few of our closest friends stayed and continued playing with Daniel. Our living room was full of gifts. We waited until everyone left to open them because it took so long to open everything in front of everyone at Matthew’s baby shower 6 months ago.
It was a great birthday party! I’m so glad Tary thought of the idea of the bounce house because all of the kids LOVED it. Even some of the adults had fun jumping around inside of it. Daniel was so happy and was smiling the entire day. He did not whine or cry other than when he lost his balloon. So many wonderful moments still swirl in my mind. He kept repeating the words “birthday” and “party” all day.
After the party was over, I held Daniel in my arms like he was still a little baby. He completely wore himself out and fell asleep in my arms at around 7 PM. I held onto him for a while before laying him down to nap on the couch.
To help Daniel go to bed, we often lay next to him in his bed until he falls asleep. That night as I laid beside him, unprompted, Daniel wrapped his arms around my neck, pulled me close, and gave me the biggest kiss. We love Daniel so much and it is such a special feeling knowing how much he loves us in return.
Happy Birthday Daniel!