Saturday, May 14, 2011

La fête d'anniversaire

Latvian wedding celebrations traditionally last three days; Lauris’s first birthday celebration, five days! All week little presents and cards have been arriving in the post, and we continue to eat kliņğeris. Today was the culmination of the partying with our IWC mom and baby club-organized party. I’ve previously mentioned that one of Lauris’s friends, Stephane, has a birthday only two days before Lauris, but another boy, András, also just had a birthday, turning two. The three mothers decided to celebrate with a small party in lieu of the usual meet at Parenthèse café.

The birthday boys!
Evdoxia was kind enough to host, and the combination of the weather and her ideal yard guaranteed a beautiful setting and wonderful time, for mothers and babies (there were almost 30 of us!). Lunch was an international affair; Viktória’s Hungarian goulash was the starter, and the kids especially were big fans. Then served with a Greek salad were the crêpes, which were lovingly made by Marine over the course of the afternoon. There were loads of possible filling choices; mushroom sauce, ham, cheese, peppers, chicken, and plenty of other combinations I couldn’t get around to try, followed later by the sweet stuff; the Nutella, jams and honey. Once everyone was stuffed, out came the cakes, one for each boy. “Happy birthday” and “Joyeaux anniversaire” were sung and the trio received some help blowing out the candles. I had made another kliņğeris, this time with almonds, to add a little Latvian flair to the celebration. Then presents; Lauris received a wonderful shape-fitting toy from the moms, to my amusement they are in the shape of eggs… œufs blancs at that!

...and there was cake!

All three of the “three amigos” are walking now, and they got in plenty of practice today. They followed one another around, tried out the swings, shared toys and ate plenty of  crêpes and chocolate, and in sum had a wonderful time. Lauris surprisingly even took a short nap, allowing us to stay a bit longer.  This was one of those ideal playdates where a mother does not need eternal vigilance, as it was a pre-tested, very safe environment and there was always another mum willing to ‘watch him for a second.’ Not only did I also get enjoyment from watching Lauris in his excitement, but I also ate some good food, drank a couple of cups of coffee and had grown-up conversations with a great group of ladies (and a few with the one- and two-year-olds!).

Later this evening we went out for dinner, originally thinking of sushi but ending up stopping at a brasserie because they had one table left in their outdoor seating area - and because they had a TV to show the ASM-Biarritz rugby game. Roberts was happy to watch the first half, and Lauris was happy to watch the boisterous crowd in his yellow-and-gold number “1” ASM jersey. My happiness was due to the excellent food, as I am repeatedly surprised because I expect “American bar food,” not the higher-shelf dishes I receive. Now home, Lauris asleep, and resting after the long day, enjoying a few minutes of peace before turning in for the night, we hear much honking, shouting and celebration on the streets. I hope it is due to an ASM victory (or, are there others still celebrating Lauris’s birthday?)!

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