Monday, August 24, 2009

Happy Birthday, Precious Daughter!

Precious Daughter turns 8 today!

Yesterday, she had her birthday party at a local swim club. I don't plan parties like this. I'm not good at it. What I thought would be an easy-peasy four-hour kid party turned out to be a lot of work, and I'm amazed that thousands of parents find the stamina to do this every year.

When I was a kid, my mother didn't host birthday parties. Well, she did once in a while. Each of my sisters had a big party. By the time I came along, she decided she'd had enough. She baked cakes for us and we sang around the table, but the invite-the-neighborhood kind of a party sank into the tar pits. In fact, my first-ever party of that nature didn't happen until I turned 40.

Precious Daughter's pool party consisted of roughly 15 kids and 13 adults. I think everyone had a wonderful time. At least I hope they did. I just wish that I were more organized. I was a frizzy-headed sweatball, and I never made it into the water even though I desperately wanted to get there.

What made it more stressful is grandparents and godparents were coming to the house after the kid party. The Oracle skipped the pool and stayed home to baby-sit the food and straighten up. I naively assumed that if the pool party ended at 3:00, I'd be home by 3:30.

All together now! "HAR-DE-HAR-HAR!"

The Oracle called me several times from 3:00 onward. His initial calls politely asked when I was leaving, but eventually they escalated to, "Where the #&*% are you!? Your parents just got here!"

Well, shoot. This was my first semi-successful kid party. In 2007, the kids' party was scheduled for a fun place, but only a handful of guests showed up. Only one classmate showed up, so we had an entire arcade to ourselves for our block of time. "We" consisted of nine family members (including ourselves), E's family, and the classmate with his mom and brother.

Anyway, the arcade party took excellent care of itself, because didn't have to worry about other people's kids. This one was quite a wake-up call. i didn't have time to bake a cake, so I had to succumb to a supermarket cake, which was quite good. I was late for the party and didn't have time to pick it up, so I asked another mom to hold down the fort while I ran this errand, adn then I forgot to tell her when I was leaving. . DUH. One guest arrived late and her mom had no idea where to put her.

The kids had a great time, and I nearly forgot to cut the stupid cake. Pool Lady reminded me. next thing I know, it's 3:00. Parents are arriving, and I have to find their dripping-wet kids and send them home. Then we had to load the car before going home. Things probably would have gone much more smoothly if The Oracle had been there, but he was busy at home.

If it weren't for Uncle R., I wouldnt' have a single picture to mark the event. And, wow, he's great with a camera!

Precious Daughter taking the plunge!

Mighty B. and the Blonde-haired girl. I broke my rule on posting other people's kids because you can't see her face.

Aunt V. and Kryptonite.

I came home to a sparkly house and guests waiting for our arrival. I felt like a big loser. Thank you, everyone, for coming to my aid and helping me get the food on the table before hunger got the better of you!

I'm hoping my sister has pictures from the family party on her camera, because I never got the chance to snap one picture.

Monday, August 17, 2009

No Treats From Obama

This sent me into gigglefits.

For some reason, I can't view YouTube posts on Blogger. I think it's a setting in my computer. If you can't see what I posted, please let me know, and I'll send the link if you'd like. If you're one of those tech-savvy folks that know what setting I need to change on my machine, I'd love to hear from you!

(I'm still alive, folks, just rather busy getting some work done and planning Precious Daughter's birthday party. I'll post soon!)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Birthday Party!

Last Saturday, despite his horrid behavior, we celebrated Mighty B's 6th Birthday. For many months he begged and pestered to have his party take place at the tourist railroad where The Oracle volunteers, so The Oracle set it up.

Our guest list was simple. Uncle B. and Aunt J., two of The Oracle's friends and their kids, and E. with her family. My sister ended up having to cancel at the last minute. I know Mighty B. would have liked some of his friends there, but who, other than close friends/family, is going to drive an hour and a half for a kid's party?

But B. has been a bit difficult lately (understatement). It got so rough that we told him we were canceling his party. It escalated to the point that The Oracle and I seriously discussed canning it for real. In the end, knowing that the root of some of his problems surround his feeling left out and envy over the attention given to Kryptonite, we decided that he really needed to be "king for a day," but we didn't tell B. that.

Friday night, I stayed up all night baking this:

I'm quite proud of the way it turned out, considering that I have little skill with cake decorating, and it's nothing I'd ever attempt if my mother's cake-decorating stuff hadn't landed in my lap.

Bragging: The top layer is yellow, the bottom layer is chocolate. Each layer contains what would be one-and-a-half regular layer cakes, if that makes sense. By the time the cakes were cooled, I discovered that I didn't have enough butter to frost cake. Uh-oh. It was nearly 4:00 a.m., and my only supermarket option involved an overpriced convenience store. I was too tired to drive a greater distance to the 24-hour supermarket. Then I remembered "cream cheese!"

The frosting between the layers is chocolate cream cheese. The frosting on the outside is back-of-the-box Royal icing, and I had to stretch it mighty thin to cover the cake. I barely had enough.

After we arrived at the railroad, I realized that I'd left the candles at home. The nearest shop to get some was at least fifteen minutes away. We didn't have time.

When the kids sang "Happy Birthday," Mighty B. "fainted" because he was so happy. Goofball.

Then our outspoken son left his parents mortified when he opened a present from Uncle B. and Aunt J. and announced, "I don't want Operation!"

The Oracle was too flabbergasted to speak. Aunt J. calmly took the gift back and that was that. She had other stuff in the bag that B. never saw. That's what B. gets for being so outspoken.

Precious Daughter spent that evening and the next two days getting on our last nerve with her jealousy over B's presents. HER party is in three weeks, but you'd think she wasn't having one at all. I guess this is why my mother didn't bother with birthday parties.

Fat baby picture. I love dresses with dots. She was very good at the party.

Many, many thanks to Aunt J. and E. for rounding out our menu with veggies, fruit, and salad. The Oracle and I worried over how we were going to transport enough food over the distance, so we ended up running a tab at the railroad's snack bar instead. It isn't ideal, really, but with three kids taking up the cargo space, we didn't have room in the Pacifica, and we tried our best to keep the party a surprise for Mighty B. Uncle B. and Aunt J. also transported B's presents so he wouldn't see them in the back of the car. The only thing I had to hide was the cake, and I managed that.