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Growing Them Up

by Lilli Lee Harris

There are innumerable benefits to raising children close to where you grew up.  My boys are so lucky to enjoy almost daily visits with their grandparents.  Aunts, uncles and cousins live right around the corner.  When we take the boys to Changs and the waitress brings their favorite dishes without even having to order first, Brentwood really feels like a small town.  But when does knowing so many people on the Westside get tough?  When it’s birthday party planning time and you’re trying to keep your list in the double digits.  For Mason’s first birthday we hosted over 100 of our nearest and dearest for a mucho grande fiesta.  There was Gallego’s Brothers catered food, huge photos of baby Mason atop the Olvera Street burro, even a mariachi trio shaking maracas while warbling “the Itsy Bitsy Spider.”  It was memorable to say the least.  The following year, being hugely pregnant, I wanted to keep it low key; we took all of his friends and family for unlimited rides on the carousel at the Santa Monica Pier.  Now that Mason has started school, is turning three (and baby Spencer is one), we have to kick it up a notch.  Bouncers and goldfish crackers are so passé! At three years old, most kids on the birthday party circuit have already done the pizza at the indoor gym thing.  I find that when parents want to do something different, they go retro and throw a party at home.  We went to one of those last week and it felt so familiar to the parties I attended growing up.  The kids played games, ran around the backyard and ate hot dogs.  This year the Lee boys will embrace the trend and celebrate their birthdays at home, too.  The theme?  A simple tiki hula luau and I really am trying to keep it mellow.  Instead of a giant suckling pig for example, we’ll enjoy food from “Rutt’s Hawaiian Café,” a hole-in-the-wall that’s been in Mar Vista since 1973.  Hire fire-eaters? No, way.  The kids will learn to hula from Mason and Specer’s 88 year old great-grandmother, perhaps the only professional Jewish Hawaiian dancer who is still teaching on the Westside and has been for over 53 years.  Just another typical party on the Westside.  Who cares if it’ll be too crowded and people will be eating in the bathrooms like they did the year before?  If it’s all in the spirit of celebrating as happy an occasion as thios one, I say the more the merrier.

 

The Toddler Book Club
The Challenges of Selling a Home

Ben Lee

Real Estate Broker
Licensed Attorney

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Cal BRE #01808926

310.858.5489 direct

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Beverly Hills North Office
301 N. Canon Drive, Ste E
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

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