Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Happy Birthday, Blake!

We are now the proud owners of a 3-year-old and I feel as if I have the kids' party battle wounds to prove it. If you felt a small rush of air at around 11:30 pm GMT tonight, it may very well have been the last whispers of the World's Largest Sigh, which I exhaled as I sat down on the sofa after getting through today, Blake's actual birthday.

After the dinosaur fest on Wednesday, we headed up on Saturday to the North London Tavern, to celebrate the big 0-3 with Eva, one of the Queen's Park gang. As we were getting ready, Blake said to me, "But why are we having more and more and more birthday parties?!" Good point, I thought; I am totally partied out. We went ahead though with our plans and it was really nice to see my old friends (ha ha, ladies, you're not old!). Blake was extremely shy to start with but eventually stopped clinging to my leg and had a good time once he had eaten a lot of crisps and discerned that there were in fact party bags to be distributed at the end of the party.

I came home that evening and began a project - as usual, a fairly ambitious one often attempted at totally inappropriate times of the night and when there would have been other, easier, ways out. I still had the tiny voice of Blake ringing in my ear that he wanted a buzzy bee cake, so I set out to make one. I was pretty proud of the result, even though I definitely need to get better at not letting my frosting get so soft. There were a couple of slightly "wrong" things with the cake, the biggest one being that I could not find thin licorice rope and had to use thicker twists instead; the original cake is here so you can see the difference. The other thing is that it was basically constructed of 2 whole cakes, so it was pretty big and did not fit on one of my cutting board/cake trays! With that in mind, I realized that rather than bringing the cake to Blake, he would have to come to it. We were trying to get everyone organized for this procession, and at this point I was so pleased because he hadn't yet seen the cake. I was going to be so excited to see his face when he saw it. I popped into the kitchen from the dining room to get the matches for the candles, and in that instant Blake and Emma decided to go exploring in the dining room. I came in to see the back of his head as he was looking at the cake, so I have no idea unfortunately what his initial reaction was! I was a bit saddened by this but wasn't going to dwell on it. Fortunately the cake was tasty enough, and we could move on to presents.

Together with the grandparents, we got Blake a mini kitchen which he has really seemed to adore so far. Tom and Lykke got him some wooden chopping vegetables, and today Noah "gave" Blake a mini wooden pizza set. Matt has had to move the kitchen into Blake's bedroom because of some issues with sharing, or rather: not sharing. Noah has definitely been dragged away from the toy kitchen by Blake at least half a dozen times in the last 24 hours, so we decided it would simply live in Blake's room until he can get a bit better about sharing. Of course the instant Noah realized what had happened, he flew up the stairs in pursuit of Blake and the plastic cutlery. I have mentioned in the past about possible professions for the boys, and the latest is that Blake could be an urban planner (he loves creating villages and scenes with his Legos) and Noah would be the bulldozer driver who comes and knocks everything down. Noah is quite the little destoyer, so I empathize with Blake when Noah wrecks his good work.

Today I then took in a cake (bought at Tesco, I couldn't bear a third round of baking!) and some party bags (lovingly purchased, transported and packed by Granny Karla) to Blake's nursery class, and it seemed they went down well. I didn't get there in time for the singing, but it was nice for him to get to do something on the actual day. Three parties in less than a week has certainly taken it out of me, but I guess when you're three, life's a party.

Unfortunately he's had this little ulcer on the side of his gum, so he's been feeling a little miserable with that when he eats. I'm hoping he's on the mend now, and we can all get back to "normal life". Then again, Noah's birthday is only about 6 weeks away, and well, surely we have to make a big deal of it since it's his first one...! I had better start planning the cake now.

I will do a full upload of photos tomorrow but here is one of Blake and Emma from yesterday. They had all gone out for a little walk to try to get Noah to fall asleep in the buggy, and it was raining, so Blake ended up with a mini perm! It sure is strange for me to look at this grown-up boy and think that a mere three years ago, he was our tiny bundle of joy. Time sure does fly when you have no free time (and when you're having fun, of course!)

And here is one of the ginormous buzzy bee cake (shown here as headless; he did start off with a head!), although I have better shots from my other camera and will post them tomorrow.

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