i didn't get a chance to make notes on sparrow's birthday. the big one turned three on april 18th. her party was held on sat, april 11th at goleta beach park. what a whirlwind. we were doing an "art" theme, and one of the brilliant things about the party was that the kids were each going to decorate a cake. not until i was making the cake the day before did i realize that our limited fridge space was going to create a problem. where were six cakes going to go? and even more difficult: once they were frosted in white the next morning with butter cream frosting, i couldn't stack them any more, but the frosting was prone to easy melting. good thing my brother came to the rescue with a mini fridge that he has in his room. but it was a frantic AM what with the baby and the frosting and getting all the food and bbq and art supplies together; thomas was out running an errand and the party was scheduled to start soon, but i couldn't get out of the house by myself or drive the tray of cakes without them fudging, and was going a bit crazy. at that moment naomi and barnaby knocked on my door and asked me if i needed help! they figured they should probably not leave before my car was gone. bless them! so they took the cakes for me and we made it out the door. thomas had gone on ahead with the balloons and table cloths, but as i was arriving, he called me and asked me where i was.
"i'm here. i'm just pulling into the parking lot."
"what? which way did you go? why did i get here so much faster?"
"i took fairview."
"fairview...?" then something horrible happened on the other end. he realized we were in 2 different locations!
"where are you?" he said.
"goleta beach. where are you?"
i tried to say something but he had already hung up. i was too baffled to think too long cause now we had to get the food out and the babies and round up any wandering guests who might have already arrived before us. then the whole caravan of the reeves arrived, and my jaw dropped open. they ALL came! i was only expecting goldie, but was so happy to see the entire family nonetheless. soon enough thomas was there and we set up table cloths and gave kids balloons.
enter holly: "the sea gulls just ate your cakes." WHAT! aaaaaaah! worst ever! i ran over and swatted away the sea gulls (rats of the sea), which had left a nasty mess of my careful frosting job. (yum, said the sea gull. naughty sea gull.) i was super flustered because thomas and i had already discussed the sea gulls and the cake earlier, knowing the weasely food-swiping nature of these characters, and had decided we'd leave the cake in the car until time to decorate. information that in all the jumble i had forgotten to pass on to naomi and barnaby, poor unsuspecting souls... i rushed the sad crumby cake tray back to my car, where i realized that it was not quite so bad as it had seemed at first. i could salvage the other halves of the two compromised cakes, and i'd have had to cut all the cakes in half anyways because of the extra guests.
the kids' first artistic activity was painting wooden "treasure" boxes from michaels that they would get to take home. there weren't quite enough once again, but samuel and hope were good enough to share.
then on to the cake decorating. cake first! because if we waited, the frosting would have melted in the car. the kids had such an awesome time making their cake creations with nasty store-bought tubes of glitter-gel icing and colored sunflower seeds. there were some very over-the-top pieces of piled/dripping colors and ALL the adults scraped the color fun off before eating. hahahah. bitter stuff.
sparrow had helped me make the cake, and she was so excited to have chocolate, her pick. last year the cake was more healthy with carrots and no refined sugar. this year since she had an opinion and heck--it WAS her birthday--i let her choose whatever kind she wanted. i still made it with whole wheat, of course. she gets cake/ treats sometimes at weddings or special occasions, so why make it more extreme on her birthday. that carrot cake takes a really long time to make, too. but it is good.
anyhow, next on the party agenda was more artistic embellishment of the treasure boxes as the kids got to glue jewels on. they got crayons to decorate their own white gift bags too. but it was SUCH a crazy windy day that the table cloths blew off a couple times and almost scattered the drying treasure boxes. my hair was everywhere and it was generally loud, so i felt like i was yelling and shrieking at everyone with instructions. boo. good thing i had help from derika and tara in directing and assisting the creative endeavors. tara and melissa took over the care of golden, too, who to her chagrin had been basically ignored by me all day long. =(
the most elaborate treasure box was created by jade dillon, who took such sweet time and care in gluing those flower jewels on in every spare space. i was impressed.
then more food, free play, and present time, and before too long we were wrapping it up. what amazing silence when we got into the car out of the wind. what a full day. what good friends. precious daughter. oh and i can't forget to recount the hilarious instance where hope (below) ran off with the cheese. she found a block of cheese in the cooler and decided to take off running! then goldie reeve decided to chase her, and the two ran around the park like little munchkins. fast ones. with cheese. too bad there is no picture because it was amazing, and all the grown ups were laughing and yelling.
sparrow got to wear home made birthday crown. she picked, placed and glued all the jewels the day before.
thanks to alan for taking pics at the party. my computer crashed at the end of april, and i lost my photos--bloooo--but through alan's documentary the party's essence was saved from suffering a fate of banishment to a place of mental images alone.
thomas was off to china on the 15th of april, so sparrow's real birthday was more of a quiet day. i did have plans to take her to padaro beach grill again as last year, but we battled traffic only to find the place closed for a wedding! so we got some picnic food at tj's instead and headed once again to goleta beach park. ah, and sparrow got to pick out flowers--finally, finally! every time we go to tj's she wants to get flowers, and i always say, "no, maybe on your birthday." now was that day! and she picked out a dozen red roses. what an adorable girl. at the park i also bought her an ice cream from the ice cream trolley lady. she picked a nasty blue sonic-character ice cream with gum eyes that turned her tongue and whole face blue. when it started dripping down the stick, she licked it and then said, laughing, "i licked the paint!" and to top off the sugar, i let her get a gum ball in the amazing gum ball machine at blockbuster. that might have been her favorite part, watching the red gum ball roll around and around down the track. wow. first ever experience with that american classic. then we stayed up late and watched "milo and otis" and ate home made popcorn. i am so proud of her & it's fun to let her stay up late every now and then and have some "big girl" time.