Sunday, February 24, 2013

An early birthday party

Yesterday we had Blake's party for his friends - fortunately a lot of the invitees from his school couldn't actually come which meant the numbers were manageable - probably a blessing since we were having the party at the house! I don't know if 2013 should be known as the "Year of Living Sensibly, or The Year of Living Dangerously" - but whatever the case, I did something I think I have never done before in my esteemed last-minute cake-making history: I went to bed early instead of at least starting the cake the night before the party.  As in previous years, we had the idea for the cake a few weeks ago, but nonetheless there was a lot of last-minute scurrying around for ingredients!  I was happy to discover a store that sells colored fondant icing (Sugarcraft Boutique on Lordship Lane) and that saved me a bit on next-day shipping costs!  On Friday, I was off work and both the boys and I had a pretty lazy day, going over to buy the icing and then going to the local pub for lunch. 
Blake had chosen his monster truck cake design but also told me that he wanted to help me make it - again, a change from previous years when everything was a surprise for him.  This year he just wanted the surprise to be for his friends.  Anyway, Saturday morning I woke up and got to work, and the result was pretty good, though there were a few things that didn't quite work from the original design I'd seen online (thanks, Dawn - I really appreciated your post!).  My black food coloring tracks didn't stick very well, and for some reason I'd been tempted to buy generic what-I-thought-were M&M's...turns out they were more like Smarties and as spectators, they looked a little big - M&Ms would have definitely been better!  Otherwise, I guess it worked and Blake seemed happy with it.

After the cake was done, I needed to blow up some foil monster truck balloons, so I thought I would head to our local party shop.  Think again!  I phoned up to double check they were there and the person who answered said they were just about to close because the owner didn't feel well.  Aaaah!  I got very lucky and found another place locally that was able to fill them up, so that was a major relief. 
The party was a success - there were only 5 kids in all - 3 big, 2 little -  and everything seemed pretty under control!  We played a few games, including "Pin the wheel on the monster truck", "Monster truck poses" (a bit like musical statues apart from your "frozen pose" had to be of a monster truck...don't ask me!), and the big hit - "Whose monster truck goes the fastest?"  They were pretty happy to get the monster trucks.  After the party wrapped up, Blake and I spent a long time - a good hour and a half - making one of his presents, a Lego 3-in-1 robot transformer thing. 

Today we have had literally the laziest day I can remember - Noah didn't get out of his pyjamas until about 6:30pm when we went for a walk around the block.  Instead of getting ready for church, Blake and I made his one of his other presents, a Playmobil robot machine thing, which ended up being a bit more complicated than it should have been, namely because I had inadvertently thrown away several packets of small pieces yesterday in the party fray.  So I had to rifle through the garbage to find them - but find them I did!  Note to self: next time, just put all the plastic bags back into the box and do not put them into the bin thinking they are empty! 

I had gotten dressed sometime around lunchtime but went straight into sweatpants, and Blake and Matt went out to the park for a quick excursion but it was cold and I don't think they stayed out long.  I'm not certain though because Noah and I took a nap on the couch; napping still remains one of the best things in life, in my book.  After the excitement of yesterday, I think I deserved it! 

And so, on with another week.  My baby will turn 5 on Thursday.  Five years old.  That's like a quarter of the way to 20!  Hard to believe in some ways, but not that hard in others.  We were looking tonight at some pictures on the computer of him when he was born.  It does seem like a long time ago, when I think back to that time of being so overwhelmed, so clueless, so exhausted.  Fortunately, after 5 years of birthday cakes, I can say I'm getting better at certain things. I still procrastinate at cake-baking, but at least this year I also got some sleep! 

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