Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The Birthday Bash

Holy crap I have been insanely busy. The weeks leading up to the boy's first birthday party were pure chaos. Of course, because of how my life works, the several days directly preceeding the party were the busiest I've ever had at work ever. EV-ER. I took the Friday before off, and of course that's the day my company decides to prepare for the big board meeting the following week, and the president of the company is calling all over God's creation to find me. Good thing I didn't answer the blackberry, as I was up to my eyeballs in balsamic vinegar and canned icing (trying to multi-task).

It really did end up being a great time. We had a beautiful day, almost everyone invited attended and said repeatedly how much fun they had. We even got to know our neighbors better, they've lived next door for 2 years, and have a 2 year old daughter but we never really saw them. We invited them to the party and they still seem to like us after meeting my entire family! The only bad thing was that I didn't take any video, and didn't take nearly enough pictures. The memories though, are priceless.
Here's what we ate:

Steamed Crabs (caught locally, and made with O'Brycki's seasoning, better than Old Bay and a great Baltimore restaurant)
Hamburgers & Hot Dogs
Key West Chicken (made with boneless chicken thighs)
Marinated Flank Steak skewers (marinated and prepped by the butcher)
Potato Salad (from Costco - try it, it's amazing)
Corn on the cob (fresh local farm corn, so sweet!)
Mid-Summer Bread Salad (again with local farm produce)
BT's Salad (he's famous for it - green salad with sugared pecans, gorgonzola, red onion, pears in balsamic dressing)

Lessons I've learned:

1. Never start major home improvements less than a month before a party. You think it's good motivation to get your husband to finally do stuff, but all it does is strain your marriage and give you huge. throbbing. headaches. We had a paving stone patio put in and built a second floor deck. Yes I am insane.

2. Never ask your dad to do the aforementioned home improvements. Or if you do, remember that he is now 67 and can not move at the pace you need him to. I swear to you that no less than 5 hours before the party my backyard looked like the tool corral at Home Depot. I finally had to say "DAD FORGET THE TRIM, WE WILL LIVE WITHOUT IT FOR NOW".

3. Never trust your husband to do everything you need him to do while you are at work. I made lists upon lists, and each night when I got home I heard about all the stuff he did that was NOT on the list. Honestly, do your husbands have the insane habit of repeatedly "cleaning out the garage" which really consists of taking all the crap out of the garage, strewing it all over the driveway, and then putting it right back in again, rearranging it so that you can't find a damn thing? Or is that just my husband? How does this help prepare for a party??

4. Wear comfortable shoes when entertaining. I must have went in and out of the house sixty four thousand times.

5. Listen to your mom when she tells you how much food you are going to need. If you don't, then you will run out (or come dangerously close). Listen to your dad about how much beer you are going to need. Otherwise, you need to make a beer run at 9pm.

6. Having an extra fridge in the garage is an absolute Godsend. It's the one "not on the list" thing I have forgiven him for.

7. If you are going to make a big elaborate cake, make sure you give yourself enough time. This way you aren't rushing and accidentally leave out ingredients. Also make sure you aren't tired, or you will be punchy; when you laugh too much your hand shakes and you can't squeeze out icing consistently. Oh and when recipes say 4 oz of red food coloring it is not a misprint, that means TWO WHOLE BOTTLES. And for God sakes be careful or else everything will be red.

8. Boiled crabs are not good the next day. Leftover crab cupcakes however, are great for breakfast.

9. When you really really need him, your brother will come through for you. He cleaned, he babysat, he shucked corn and iced cakes. Could he finally be maturing? I won't hold my breath, but it sure was nice while it lasted.

10. When people offer to help you, TAKE THEM UP ON IT.


Jill said...

Happy happy birthday to the little prince... I love the whole theme - especially those cupcakes... You are extremely talented - what a labor of love...

Jenni said...

Wow! You guys threw quite the shindig for SeaMonkey's birthday! I am so impressed by your crab cake, but the cupcakes... oh the cupcakes! Those are about the cutest edible item I've ever seen! SeaMonkey looks pretty darn cute in his crown too. That boy can wear hats like no other.

Your comment about BT cleaning out the garage cracked. me. up! I hear at least once a week how we need to clean out our garage, and it needs to be a top priority (despite the fact that we just did it a couple months ago). I'm thinking the stack of dishes in the sink, or the piles of laundry are a bit more urgent to attend to.


Jenn said...

Sound like everything turned out GREAT in the end! All worth the stress huh? and doesnt your little Prince look HANDSOME!! :) Those crab Cupcakes are SOC UTE!!! as are the two cakes. :) And HAPPY BIRTHDAY LITTLE MAN!

Bezzie said...

Oh my god, you'd think this was that Cute Overload site! Hee!! If you had posted a picture of Seamonkey eating one of those little crab cupcakes, I seriously would have exploded from the sheer cute overload!

Maggie said...

You made a crab cake and a Spongebob cake and crab cupcakes and cute invitations? Where's the mom-of-the-year award? Someone needs to hand it to you.

Beagle said...

Wow, I am impressed! I still haven't gotten over the mural you painted in his room!

Next year what do I need to do to get on the guest list? ;-)

Happy Birthday Seamonkey!

Tami said...

What an awesome party! I didn't think it could get any better than the invitation and then I saw the cupcakes!!! You're awesome!!!

Barely Sane said...

Holy smokes!!! I'm just gonna say one thing - Sweet Pea's 1st bday is in November, when can you get here??? Because the stuff you did is freakin AMAZING!

Love that you left him in his "birthday suit" for cake time. Good idea! And the little car he's on - if he loves it half as much as SP loves hers, he'll NEVER get off it!

Congrats again! You waited a long long time for this so I'm glad it was a success.

Michelle Smiles said...

Holy crap! You rock! My kid only got a little party because my MIL insisted on throwing a little one - otherwise it would have just been cupcakes with mommy and daddy (and not incredibly cute crabby ones). I'm so impressed - this all look awesome!

Rachael said...

How are you going to top this next year? You set the bar pretty high for yourself.

Everything looks AMAZING!

You are very talented. You should be a party planner (in all your spare time).

Happy Birthday Seamonkey!!!

wavybrains said...

Wow. That's a huge birthday, but I think it's one of the best first birthday parties I've seen pictures of---perfect balance of grown-up food & celebration, and birthday boy fun. At that age, it really IS more about YOU surviving the year than him--and it looks like you all 3 had a celebration to remember! I love all the food pictures. You did an amazing, amazing job!!!

Andrea said...

LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE the crab cupcakes. I was impressed with our turtle cupcakes for my baby shower, but that thing is blown out of the water! SO cute. And SeaMonkey, cute as ever! love the crown-might have to find one for K. since his 1st bday is quickly approaching.

CUTE stuff, my dear!!

MMrussianadoption said...

Very cute pictures!!! He is a prince. I am glad even with all the drama, everything went great. My husband does the same thing!! It is in the dna.

mama k said...

You outdid yourself again! Everything looks so fun. Seamonkey is getting so big too!

"Honestly, do your husbands have the insane habit of repeatedly "cleaning out the garage" which really consists of taking all the crap out of the garage, strewing it all over the driveway, and then putting it right back in again, rearranging it so that you can't find a damn thing? Or is that just my husband?"

OMG!!! YES!!!
I could have written this. Only my DH is always talking about how he has to clean out the garage. He never really gets rid of anything so I don't know what the freakin' point is. Oh yeah. It's to bug the crap out of ME.

Anonymous said...

Do you guys know how to PAR-TAY or what?? LOL.

A big YES to #10!!! I learned that, too.

Those crab cupcakes are so darn cute! And so is that cake!! You made that? I'm so impressed!

Happy Birthday to the Seamonkey!

Samantha said...

As I've said before, you certainly do know how to through a party!
You're list is one I'll keep in mind for the future!

Happy birthday to seamonkey!

Chebbles' Mama said...

Happy Birthday, Handsome!!! What an amazing cake, or TWO cakes! And that is hilarious about the home improvement. I know it didn't seem hilarious at the time, but from an outsider's perspective, I completely understand. And no, dudes don't really get the finer logistics of party planning, I think that might be a cold, hard fact. (Well, except the guys on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy maybe!)

Rob, Dana, & Billy said...

I'm still reeling from the baptism and now you amaze us with this? You are just way too good! Teach me! Teach me! :)

Miss Scarlett said...

Whoa! That is one seriously fun theme party SeaMonkey had.

Nice work Mom and Dad!

Thanks for all the tips - they may come in handy in the future.

I love those crabby cupcakes!

Ruth's Place said...

Happy belated birthday to Seamonkey.

Those cakes (all of them including the crab cupcakes) are amazing. You've set the bar high for the rest of us! lol

Lauren said...

You did a great job on the cakes. But I must say you are braver than I with all of that red frosting.

Happy Belated Birthday Seamonkey!

Jenny said...

Happy Birthday!!!!

Sharon said...

Happy birthday, little man! The cakes look fabulous - you were a busy momma this week. Big props to you.

Dana said...

WOW! You are very creative! How did you pull all that together and be the breadwinner? Everything looks great, the invitation, the cake, cupcakes, crabs, I'm sure the day was a hit with everyone. I wish I could have done a big party for Serena but we celebrated in Kaz and did a small family thing when we got home. Good for you for giving him such a successfull party!

Denise :o) said...

Happy Birthday little Prince!!! Love the birthday crown!! You did a great job on the cake and cupcakes too I might add. Sounds like a you had a great time. MMMMMMmmmmmm.... crabs!!!!!

M.E. said...

I just found your blog and browsed the whole thing. What a wonderful story and I'm so happy your family has come together. You certainly have a handsome son! I did notice that you were very careful not to disclose his name, but you missed it in one spot (early on after he came to your family). I thought you might want to know in case you wanted to edit that or take it down.

kim said...

I love the crab theme! OMG, those cupcakes are too cute. Happy birthdays!