Recovering from the party

If I admitted that I just now finished doing the dishes from Atti’s party on Saturday, would that burst your image of me? It’s all about priorities ladies and gentlemen, and dishes are rather far down on mine these days.

Birthday Boy

The party was great fun, small but chaotic nonetheless. Since it’s just his first and he doesn’t have real friends or anything yet, we just had the immediate family over. We grilled hamburgers in between rain showers, I made homemade french fries and salad, and then I decided I had to have a cookie bar. I have no idea what possessed me, we ended up giving cookie plates away to friends and neighbors since we made more than any of us would ever want to eat, but it was still fun to do.

I used Martha’s Cookie of the Day resource and we made Mudslide Cookies, Pink Grapefruit Sandwich Cookies, and our own recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies. The pink grapefruit cookies are out of this world. Holy Cow! They’re outrageously good and no one had ever tasted anything like it. Those will now be on our greatest hits list.

Once again we went overboard on the cake. We made a burgundy fondant cover, carved the cake into the shape of pages, covered it with a creamy peach fondant, and then cut and painted the sides to look like gilded pages. I had plans of sculpting little characters from his books, but yet again I ran into my own limitations. Fondant and gum paste just do not work like polymer clay, so I’m struggling to figure out how to make it do what I want. We were a little bummed we couldn’t make it look like our vision, but we feel like we’re getting way closer each time.

Birthday Boy with Felt Crown

Of course Atti had to have the felt crown from Amanda’s book. The best part was that since I was so busy with last minute cookie baking to consider a birthday hat, I only started this about an hour before guests arrived and I finished it with time to spare.

Too Many Presents
I asked the family to not get us toys. He has plenty of toys. We’ve broken our own No Plastics rule to get him toys that will aid his development, he does not need more. Instead we asked for books. There can never be enough books in our house. But everyone took pity on poor Atti with his humdrum granola mom and bought him whatever they felt like anyway. Everyone actually bought him great stuff, and were way too generous. I was really touched by the efforts they made to go along with my love of the natural. We got wooden trains, wooden buses, wooden blocks, books, and even the plastic toys light up and play music just like Atti likes best.

It was hilarious to see the reaction around the table when we opened up the gifts from us. A storybook about fuzzy bears, a toy I made, and a CD of Ladysmith Black Mambazo music. Bless their hearts, they try, but I don’t think they always understand why I do things they way I do.

Hanging Toy
I’ve been meaning to make him these hanging toys for months, but I kept putting it off. I waited a little too long, I think he’s a little advanced for them now, but I’m still happy I finally got this one out of my head and out into the world. I wanted him to have something to bat at and chew on from his car seat that wasn’t made of plastic, and I couldn’t find anything. So this little chain alternates a wood ring and a fabric ring so I could still use them to attach things where I wanted, and the wood is a fantastic teether. I’ve got a tutorial coming up for these this week, and I’m also planning on having some available in my next shop update, which I’m hoping will be at the beginning of next month.

Amy Butler covered toybox
I also made him this toybox to corral all the toys that seem to have been breeding in the middle of the night. We’ve hardly bought a thing, but between toys on loan from therapists and family members concerned for how much fun we let this kid have, we have more toys than I know what to do with.

Toybox in place
I made it just the size to fit into this one odd little cranny I have. I put it on wheels so it’s easy to pull around, and the sides are soft so Atti can crawl right inside if he needs to to reach the perfect toy. I took notes as I built it to do a tutorial, but it would be a pretty long and specific one, I’m thinking instead of making it a pdf download available for a couple bucks. If anyone’s interested than give a shout in the comments so I can see if it’s worth the effort.

Of course once the party was over, literally as the guests were walking out the door, I felt my sinuses start to plug up. As soon as my big deadline was met and I had a couple days to relax before starting the next big thing, that’s when I get sick. And as my sisterfriend Schelle says, Mommies don’t get to be sick. So I’ve been doing all I can to keep the baby happy without actually expending energy or allowing anything to touch my achy body. I have a ton of wonderful emails I need to get back to, but I’m going to plead sick day and get back to my couch bed. Luckily I’ve been so busy with the party that I haven’t been watching TV, which means that my Tivo is stuffed and waiting for me.