So, let's me confess right up front: I adore party planning. Which is a bit weird given that I'm not a details person. I'm definitely a big picture kinda gal. Chris is the nuts and bolts half of the relationship. We joke that I dream up the vision and he makes it a reality. Which, if you know us, is so true.
I think I'm going to start telling Chris that my grand vision for our daily lives does not include a tidy house. Life, especially with kids, is gloriously messy. This is a great idea, yes?! All in favor of adopting, shout 'aye'!
Anyway, back to the party. Since Ben and Emma have birthdays that are only separated by two weeks, it makes sense to smoosh them together into one glorious fiesta. I plan to do this until they stage a revolt. Frankly, we expected Ben to protest vociferously but we appeased him with the promise of his Treasure Hunt (aka his buddy birthday) party and he happily went out of his way to tell everyone that he was having two birthday parties. Dude is spoiled rotten, it's true.
So, now that we were planning Un Gran Fiesta (can you tell that I've been practicing my spanish on Duolingo?!), we needed to pack a birthday punch.
And really, are there any other birds on the planet that can rival the flamingo for sheer showy gaudyness? (Parents and other birders: don't answer that. Save your blue mot mots, birds of paradise, and other feathered friends for next year's party)
I found this geometric flamingo file (instant download) for $1.50 on Etsy and then set about crafting a proper invitation.
Eh. It was ok. But who can resist messing around a bit more?
(And I just noticed that there was a typo in the first invitation. Eek. Where is my detail-oriented husband?!)
I also added a few feathered models to the birthday cake. Bad picture, I know. Wind + dying camera does not make for good photographic evidence. Plus I was trying to balance the entire thing on top of a paint bucket (yes, we're still in construction mode) 10 minutes before guests walked in the door. Welcome to my hectic life. Which clearly has no time for tidying. Flamingos always take precedence over house chores, yes?
Here is the cake right before we dug in. This is when I started singing Happy Birthday but Ben halted the proceedings because I'd neglected to turn off every single last light in the house and it wasn't dark enough for him. Got to follow the rules and the rules say that light go OFF. Yes sir.
Ben requested an ice cream cake which was good since our oven wasn't hooked up and thus we had no way to bake a cake. This one was based off of an Ombre Cake and it got high scores from family members. Basically you whip up a whole bunch of whipped cream and layer it in between ice cream flavors of your choice. I picked chocolate, raspberry, and mango. YUM. It was an excellent combo, if I do say so myself.
Give yourself a day to make this cake. You put the bottom ice cream layer down, then a whipped cream layer and then stick it in the freezer to harden for half an hour. Then you put down another layer of ice cream and a second layer of whipped cream. Then harden. And repeat for as many layers as necessary. And then you cloak the entire thing in more whipped cream that takes the place of an exterior frosting.
Next time I'd try to make my whipped cream layers thinner. Or perhaps nix them entirely. Whipped cream simply doesn't it do it for me when compared to a good gelato.
For the past few years we've done birthday shirts for the kids but I lied shamelessly to Ben and told him that they don't make shirts big enough for five year-olds. The tradition was cute for the first few years but I don't want my sixteen-year-old throwing a fit when he doesn't receive his annual birthday vestment. So we cut it off at age four. Sorry, Bubba.
This is what I sent to the gal on Etsy that makes the shirts:
And...we got kind of close. It all depends on what she has in stock and I'm not surprised that her stash of oranges is a little thin. Eh. I can live with it. Don't sweat the details, remember? :) I'm just grateful that she's willing to do custom orders. The one she made last year for Em was perfect.
The birthday girl was happy and proceeded to show her appreciation by smearing chocolate ice cream over the front. It's my party and I do what I want to.
Sometimes it seems a bit silly to make such a to-do for what is a very small birthday party for only the kids' closest family members. But I remember quite vividly the parties my mom staged every February: the kite flying party. The high heel races. The tea party. They were great fun, even when things went wrong. Ahem. Like the time I lit the house on fire. In hindsight, that one was less fun for my parents, perhaps.
So in the meantime we're going to make a fuss over the kids and let them enjoy (jointly!) their special day. And really, it's also just an awesome opportunity to make delicious cakes.