Saturday, March 17, 2012
Sweet 16 and Fab 5
Around here, March is all about Birthdays and Basketball.
I plan birthdays.
My husband watches basketball.
This year, A turned 16 and C turned 5. Pretty big milestones for each of them.
When Z turned 16, we took a family trip to Tennessee and experimented with the adventures of Indoor Skydiving. Basically, you wear skydiving suits, stand inside a very loud wind tunnel until a man you pray is a professional, takes you by one arm and one leg and jumps you both into the air, where ideally, the simulated wind catches your suit just right and you go spinning high into the air past the viewing windows where your husband and traumatized toddler watch Mommy fly past with her eyes squeezed tightly closed behind her giant goggles and her mouth open in a silent scream. And that's "ideal." Your less than ideal scenario is that the wind doesn't catch your suit properly and you either crash into the wall or land with a thud at the base of the tunnel and see the instructor signal the controller to increase the wind to get Mommy off the floor.
Code: Bump it up to hurricane. Oh the things we do for our children.
A decided she would also like to take a trip and try Zorbing. We agreed. It's booked. Then I googled it. In June, I'll be strapped into a giant rubber ball and sent rolling down the hills of Tennessee. Coming soon to a blog near you.
In the meantime, her birthday weekend included her meal of choice, which was the Red Lobster inspired 4-Course Feast and the following day we went swimming and up to the Lake to eat at a dirty little bar that literally leans to the side causing you to sit at an angle to eat GIANT cheeseburgers. Oh yeah.
One week later, my baby C turned 5. Her obsession with Laverne & Shirley reruns made her party planning easy. Bowling Alley, Pizza, Scooter Pies, and bottles of "Shotz" (root) Beer. I contacted a friend who made her a poodle skirt and monogrammed shirt (thank you, Alison!) and then I set to work planning the party.
Obstacle #1: Per bowling alley rules, absolutely no outside food or drink was permitted to be brought into the bowling alley for the party. The only exception: A birthday cake.
How do I host a Laverne & Shirley party without Shotz Beer? Easy: You disguise them in gift bags and then apologize to the parents for sending their young children home with glass bottles of what appeared to be alcoholic beverages.
Obstacle #2: I don't have the personality to allow an easy party to be easy.
Rather than simply buying or making a birthday cake, I opted for double stacked cupcakes on top of a cone and iced to look like giant soft served ice cream. Three hours and five tubs of icing later, I had 24 beautiful creations that did indeed look like soft served cones. SCORE!
Obstacle #3: Transporting 24 giant top heavy creations.
I'll spare you the dirty details of the profanity filled 15 minutes it took to drive to the bowling alley, but when we arrived, we were each holding hand fulls of dented, finger printed and leaning towers of the messiest looking ice cream cones you've ever seen. Our guests met us in the parking lot and helped us out.
So our party walked into the bowling alley carrying what appeared to be 24 giant melting ice cream cones after being strictly forbidden to bring in food. We are nothing if not excellent at first impressions.
Many dressed the 50's part and we had a blast. Two hours later, we left with our bouncing icing covered 5 year old and breathed a sigh of relief. My husband, ready to return to his evenings of basketball and I, happy to have pulled off a successful birthday party, despite the obstacles.
My head hit the pillow with a self-proclaimed-mother-of-the-year status and a determination to finish out the month profanity-free.
And then it hit me. We forgot to sing Happy Birthday.