Thursday, August 28, 2014

Birthday Party

As you may recall from my frequent whining in the past, all three of my children’s birthdays fall within six weeks of each other.  In order to save what precious little sanity I have, I only do birthday parties for my kids every other year.  Many people are horrified by this, but my kids don’t seem to mind.  It’s not like we ignore the “off” year; there are still family parties and presents and cake and balloons and more celebrating than some kids get in an entire lifetime.  We just omit the whole “since I can’t invite everyone, which friends’ feelings should I hurt by leaving them out” drama. 

So this was a birthday party year for Spencer.  He turned 13 back in April during our spring break ski trip. The months that followed were a busy, dark blur and birthday parties were the last thing on my mind. Based on the invitations my kids have received recently, it appears that having a party near one’s actual birthdate is not as important as it used to be which is an unorganized mother’s dream. Spencer was in no rush to have his party but he did mention a summer party would be nice for a change. I sort of hoped he’d forget about it and we’d try again next year, but it turns out he didn’t. And as September came closer, I came to the sad truth that this party was not planning itself. I was hoping to take advantage of the summer weather and plan a huge Amazing Race type of party or something, but Spencer wanted laser tag and a movie. Why he wanted to do that in summer, I don’t know. But it was a thousand times easier than planning an exciting adventure game, so I didn’t try to convince him otherwise.  Yesterday was party day: we went to Lasertopia first and then came back to our house for the rest. I made them eat the pizza outside to take at least some advantage of the “summer” party. If I had been smart, I would’ve made arrangements to show the movie outside. Oh well, too late now – maybe we’ll try again in two years. Actually only a year and a half by now. I should probably get on that.

So the teaser picture I posted yesterday … that was the homemade ice cream birthday cake in progress. To clarify, the ice cream was not homemade, I only assembled the ice cream sandwiches I purchased. My sister gave me the idea, and then I found this link online. I modified the recipe slightly to make a larger cake, but that’s not exactly my skill set and there should have been more filling between the layers of ice cream sandwiches. It turned out pretty good; I regret that I didn't get a good picture of the finished product - inside and out. At least it looks better than yesterday’s photo. I think the boys enjoyed it even though almost no one finished their whole piece. I’m chalking that up to the fact that they had spent the entire past hour consuming pizza, chips, fuzzy peach candy and pop in large quantities. Spencer has a good group of friends and it’s interesting to watch as they grow older and taller and develop deeper voices. I can’t say the maturity level is increasing as fast as their height because they all still seem to find belching hilarious. I’m not actually sure there’s ever an age when boys stop enjoying the noises that their bodies produce.

Spencer seemed very happy with the party and thanked me several times for “all the work” I did. Of course, that made it all worthwhile.  He really doesn’t ask for a lot. He is usually pretty sweet and appreciative and often asks me if I need help with anything. Especially this week when he was lobbying for us to re-subscribe to the Space Channel because the next season of Doctor Who started yesterday. We had cancelled all our cable TV except basic cable and Family Channel at the beginning of the summer and no one even noticed until this week. I made a deal with Spencer that in exchange for one extra chore a day, I’d get Space Channel. I’d say I’m getting a pretty good deal for $3 a month.

This was one of Spencer's birthday gifts: fish sticks and custard mix, which is the Doctor's favourite food.  I thought it was a pretty clever gift.  The kids made it while I was at work today and said it was good.

PS:  Spencer’s invited to a birthday party on Friday and they’re doing an Amazing Race. Suckers! Haha.  Most of the same kids will be at that party so I’m more relieved than ever that we did laser tag instead; it sounds like the parents have done a lot of planning and there’s no way I could compete with that. But I bet they won’t make a homemade ice cream cake.  


Anonymous said...

Sweet! re: the upcoming Amazing Race party and the fact that you got to do Lasertopia instead. Tee hee.

I'm not horrified by your every other year birthday party. I totally get it. I think it's a great idea. By the time my kids are done with family parties, they've celebrated enough and received enough gifts already. We limit our number of friends invited to very few to curb that as best we can. This year Steve's brother and his family were home over the summer from Kenya so we had parties where we invited the cousins only (partly to not overwhelm the quiet little Kenyan girl cousins with a bunch of strange rowdy boys). Everyone was very pleased with it and we had a lot of fun. There was essentially no whining from either of the kids on this decision because they were just so happy to have their cousins home to celebrate with them. All this to say, I think you're awesome, Ellen. :)


Anonymous said...

Ditto Sheri-Lee! You know me and presents and all that. When exactly did we jump into the whole "invite the whole class so no one's feeling get hurt" crap anyway? WHY ARE WE RAISING A GENERATION OF WUSSIES??


Great cake!!! And what a fun way to celebrate! We should all celebrate months after, just to drag out the celebration!! Why not?? Then, when I turn 50, I have time to get used to it before letting others fawn over how fantastic I look for being 1/2 a century.

Yes. My yoga practice has taught me to let go of ego.

Meh. Whatever. I have a few more years to let go of to more.

xo Sio