Monday, April 03, 2006

Why is a birthday cake the only food you can blow on and spit on and everybody rushes to get a piece? - Bobby Kelton

Segundo was SOOOO excited by the prospect of his party that he did not take a nap, which almost always spells the recipe for disaster. But he managed to get through even if at 8 pm he looked at me and said, “Peez, take me upstairs so me go to bed.” Daylight savings time also wreaked havoc in our household – the boys were up late and slept late and you spend all day looking at the clock, thinking, “Well, it’s really only…” when in fact, you *have* to get used to it being a full hour later. Plus, I fell asleep nursing the baby Saturday night at 9, and nothing that I planned to do Saturday night – bake the cake, do the chopping and slicing prep – got done.

Presents were opened, and oohed and aahed over. Seggie got some books, a kite, some Matchbox cars, and the water tower from the Island of Sodor. He was very pleased. Have I mentioned that he loves water towers?

Games were played – H hid the Thomas trains all over the house and then took strangely-angled, super-up-close photos of them, and Primo made up clues for each one, and then the kids had to figure out where they were. Prizes were comic books for the 8-year-olds, and Little Golden Books for the younger kids; I found them on sale at the grocery store for $2.30 apiece, and who wouldn’t rather have a book than a plastic sack full of junk? (Not me! So don’t mind me as I impose my wishes upon a band of impressionable young children…)

A long and involved game of hide-and-seek was also carried out.

I was in the kitchen finishing decorating the blue cake.

Then we threw the kids all outside where they could scream and play and run to their heart’s content while all the grown-ups sucked down massive amounts of wine. In the past year H has begun attending a wine-tasting club here in our neighborhood and is becoming somewhat knowledgeable – and snotty- about wine, so it was like our own little mini wine fest.

The ziti was baked, the salad tossed, the bread sliced. The tables were set: in the dining room for the adults, with my new robin’s-egg-blue cloth and good china (I know, not yet, in this pic); in the kitchen with the everyday Pfaltzgraff and Thomas napkins for the kids. Water glasses were filled, wine replenished, kids rounded up and washed.

Aaaaahhhhhhh. Everyone was HUN-GRY. We all sat down, unfolded napkins, began dishing up food.

And then someone said, “Is that the baby?” Indeed it was. He had awakened from a two-hour nap and wanted to be fed RIGHT NOW. Sigh. I know that he refuses to nurse if it’s too noisy, and it was definitely noisy downstairs. I put my napkin on my plate and went upstairs. Can I wean him yet? Fortunately they saved me some food…


My mother-in-law was in rare form yesterday. First she said to me in the kitchen as she tore lettuce and washed grapes, “You know, they say that you should eat grapes to flatten your stomach.” Or not give birth to three children, I suppose, with a workaholic husband (and admittedly, a serious chocolate addiction). Then she said to my sister-in-law D (H’s sister), “Aunt F said she had such a nice time talking to you at S’s shower. She thought you’d put on a bit of weight, though.” OK, it’s bad enough Aunt F SAID this, but why oh why would anyone REPEAT it?

And another thing – if a three-year-old is not opening his presents quickly enough for you, please refrain from “helping” him. You’ve got nowhere else you have to get to. And it pisses off his mother big time.


Joke said...

I could tell Segundo was fading-fast-but-fighting-it.

And I am glad our family tradition is to open up gifts in privacy instead of in a group surrounding.


BabelBabe said...

We did finally get smart and let them open them when people get there, as opposed to waiting till after cake and it's late and there's still this big thing and everything is mayhem...

Gina said...

As I am the kind of girl who looks for the silver lining, I will say that one of the best things about getting divorced was ditching the MIL. Ick.

Joke said...


Yeah. I can see that.


Carolyn said...

I love, love, love your dining room and you decorate cakes so nicely!

I am thinking of doing A's birthday party here but the idea of anywhere from 12 to 20 six-year olds scares me.

Your MIL sounds like a peach. My husband used to take a piece of play-doh and say, "Want me to make some fruit?"

Then he would form a penis and say, "Ain't it a peach?"

That's the kind of peach your MIL is.

Gina said...

One of my goals is to make sure I am never the kind of peach so many MILs seems to be.

Um, Joke? I *do* look for silver linings--honest! How else would I be able to get out of bed in the morning?

andrea said...

daylight savings time, minus minus. clearly the inventors did not have small children. our household is all jacked up too.

Bookhart said...

Did I misread or did the Thomas cake read "Poop Poop Joop"? 'Cause it's really cute but I'm not sure if it's a family thing or a Thomas thing.

Now I must think of an excuse to have the word "poop" on a birthday cake.

My word verification? AlvinM. Like the chipmunk.

BabelBabe said...

Poop poop! is actually what Gordon says. Thomas says Peep peep. But none of my Thomas frea---er, fanatics called me on it.

Lazy cow said...

Great cake - I'm going to steal the design for the Boy's birthday (in December but still...)
Thank goodness I only have to see my MIL 2 or 3 times a year. Distance is a wonderful thing.
It looks like it was a lovely day in any case.

Joke said...

[Beavis] got poop on the cake...hehehe.[/Beavis]


I meant that ditching the MIL was the sort of thing I could see being a silver lining.
My MIL is not actually evil so much as ideal cargo for the Cookie Truck or the Twinkie Mobile, or, as they used to say on Barney Miller, she's someone who ought "book passage on the Disoriented Express."


Gina said...

Okay, Joke. I feel better.

I was a very little kid when Barney Miller was on the air, and I admit that I didn't care at all about it beyond the theme song and Fish (I've always been a sucker for a crotchety old guy with a heart of gold). I know people really love it, though. Assuming it's available on DVD (isn't everything?) is it worth checking out?

Joke said...


So far only Season One is out. I will say this on Barney Miller's defense: It is, quite easily one of the Top 5 sitcoms of all time.

You're lucky you're not here because I'd be rattling off lines from that show for HOURS.

So, yes, get it.


P.S. In fact, think of it as a trade between your ex MIL and Barney Miller, one in which you came out ahead.

Gina said...

I'd have won if I'd traded my ex-MIL for Barney the purple dinosaur.

Joke said...

C' KNOW you'd give a kidney to see your exMIL singing "I love you, you love me..."


P.S. All my MIL talks about is "microbes"

BabelBabe said...

we had a house inspector once who talked alot about microbes. That and convergent energy triangles/pyramids.


Joke said...

"Microbes" is like a loud, blaring alarm in my head.

I often tell the boys "she's YOUR relative, not mine."


Sarah Louise said...

we went from birthday cakes to MiLs to Barney Miller and microbes. It's the comment box at its absolutely conversational best.

Go team!

(not sure why that seemed appropriate, but whateve...)


Joke said...

Because we're a chatty bunch, is why.