Phew! R's birthday week is over. He had a great time on his actual birthday, when he brought space cupcakes to school and we went out to dinner with friends, and at his friend party on Saturday. But I'm pooped. I was up until 2am on his birthday making those cupcakes because Cook's Illustrated failed me in the frosting department. (The recipe I had previously used very successfully said that I could use white chocolate chips instead of chocolate chips - WRONG.) So, A had to run out in the middle of the night and buy crappy, unhealthy frosting in a tub. But R loved the cupcakes, and that's the important thing.
R was so sweet about his presents. He was genuinely excited about all of them, even though we only got him a few fairly small things: a football, a baseball glove and ball, a puzzle, a book about Apollo 11, an add-on kit for his Hot Wheels trick track, and some (admittedly quite cool) Speed Racer/Johnny Lightning cars. R kept saying to us, "Thank you, Mommy and Daddy! I really appreciate this!" My sweetie pie.
For the friend party, I of course went overboard cleaning the house - even though the weather for Saturday was going to be nice, and people would only be entering our house to use the bathroom. But my house has never looked better! And, I again stupidly killed myself working on R's cake. I insisted on making it myself to save money, but I had another Cook's Illustrated frosting mishap. Different recipe, different disaster. Eventually, I got the buttercream frosting to work, but when I tried to dye it purple, I couldn't get it to go beyond pink. R liked it, though, so I went with it. None of the kids except R liked the cake, though. The parents loved it, but my friend said that the kids are so used to crappy, tasteless, overly sugared cakes and frosting from the grocery store that they can't appreciate the real thing. Eh well. It means more leftover cake for me!
Because it was a nice day (85+ degrees and sunny!), we pulled out our bouncy house, which was a huge hit with R and his friends. They also used our climbing structure/slide thingy, the sandbox (all five kids were in it at the same time, which was quite a feat!), and ran around playing tag in the yard. I hired a guy to come and do balloon animals, and the kids were fascinated. This guy makes some incredible balloons. And, because R only invited four friends to his party, each kiddo got to take home at least three balloons.
Here's one of the piles of balloons (we stored them in the house so they wouldn't pop from the hot sun):
And, R's Spider-man balloon:
While all this was going on, the moms and A and I sat on the patio with frosty beverages, munching veggie chips, veggies and dip, and fresh fruit. Sweet!
Eventually, the kids got too hot, so we headed inside for pizza and cake. (I'm SO glad I cleaned the house.) I discovered that five children can fit peacefully in our house without a problem. Well, except for the noise. Yikes!
When our guests headed home, R and A and I relaxed while R played with some of his new toys. Later, we set up our Slip-n-Slide to cool off. R said the water was way too cold, but he enjoyed running back and forth on it for a little while.
Later, my wonderful friend E came over to babysit R so A and I could go out for a bite to eat and to see our friends' bands play. It was a gorgeous night, and we had a good time.
Sunday was truly a day of rest. And, we all needed it!
Oh - on Friday, I got great news! R got into the after-school program we were hoping for - hooray! As I told A on Sunday, now I have nothing to worry about. The party is over, after-school is taken care of. Life is good. :-)