i had roped mom easily into making that monkey head cake, which she was dutifully doing in tyler that same night, but i was worried there might not be enough to go around for our 20 odd guests. well, let's just say that cake looks a lot smaller when you're viewing it on a laptop screen.
so i pulled out another box of dr. oetker's organic chocolate cake mix and whipped up two dozen cupcakes without any obvious problems.
saturday morning, i attempted the scary part: decorating the cupcakes. i had originally thought i would just throw a couple of those organic m&m's on top. then i made the mistake of searching for monkey cupcakes on flickr a week before and led myself quickly down a path of no return. the bar was raised once again. why do i do this to myself?
i had made a trip to central market and another to whole foods and another to tom thumb trying to find whatever might be required to turn a cupcake into a monkey's face. i pulled out a box of dr. oetker's organic chocolate icing mix instead of trying my friend's vegan icing recipe. best to remove as many variables from the beth-baking equation as possible.
the icing came out all gang busters. i slathered the first one up, stuck on some organic m&m's for eyes and a nose, cut a droste pastille in half for ears, and dropped an almond sliver on for a rather pretentious looking mouth. they may have looked more like bears than monkeys (since i was too frightened to attempt to make a lighter colored circle for the muzzles), but they were damn cute monkey bears.
it took far more time than anticipated and the baby didn't nap well as anticipated and i found myself still wearing my morning look an hour before go time. of course, i've had plenty of practice in the last year learning how to transform into a stunning beauty in 15 minutes or less.
my mother arrived with her bewitching creation. it was huge. and she made it with banana cake. yum yum yum. we threw nuts and olives and hummus and salsa and applesauce on the table and threw 5,000 cans of izze in the freezer just as the guests started pouring in.
daniel, bridget, mason, mom, dad, grandmother, grandaddy (not the band), ken, lynnette, lisa, jeff, ashleigh, dylan, mara, donnie.
the non-related guests were no shows. hank and evelyn were living in austin (excused), darren was visiting in austin (excused), dave and robin called at 12:30 thinking it started at 3 instead of 1 and then didn't show up until 3:30 (not excused!), and nichole didn't show up at all or return brian's message until 7pm (you're on probation!).
but we had a good time and a little gin found its way into the bottom of my glass before the blackberry izze went in after it and i was totally shaking in my boots just knowing the teetotaling head of my grandmother was going to pop around the corner the instant the alcoholic splashing began. but it didn't and i was like a kid in a candy store stealing ten gumballs and stuffing them down my pants except it was liquor down my gullet instead.
people chatted and my grandmother shared her new recipe for making pita triangles with hummus and a slice of cucumber on top from the snacking table and my father told my nephew that hummus is called couscous and it was a good time. we sat down to let brian open the baby's presents while i spoonfed him applesauce (the baby, not brian). then the three of us lined up behind the table with the cake while an alarming, paparazzi-like group of our relatives lined up on the other side prepared to blind us with their flashy lights. we sang. we pretended oliver was blowing out the candle (which i forgot to train him on, but tried to do super fast on his birthday, yet only succeeded in making him think i'm some kind of magical witch of the appearing/disappearing fire flame). we went back to snacking and sipping.
dave and robin showed up as the relatives started making slow exits. we hung with them a bit and opened the fao schwartz snoglobe music box that robin brought and then that was that. it was nap time. and then it was dinner time with the ellisssessses at dream cafe. and then it was bed time for the baby and drinking time for daniel and bridget. i made a hasty refusal to brian's mom's offer to babysit. what is wrong with me? i'm afraid to let his own grandmother babysit him. this childhood gig is going to be a long one. but we didn't want to go out anyway. we were tired from cleaning for three months and just wanted to sit on our couch and listen to echoes reverberate off our walls.
sunday morning, we did our usual bit where oliver wakes up and we let him play in the bed using me as a human jungle gym for about an hour until we decide we might as well give up our fantasy of sleeping in. it was during that time that oliver finally played a game of peekaboo. we declined going out for brunch and the ellisssessses had donuts in our clean space cavern before hitting the road for the assigned homes. we were free. free. free.
however, i was not free from the self-assigned task of making sure half a monkey head cake and the better part of 2 dozen bear-faced monkey cupcakes did not go into the garbage. and, they didn't. i sort of blame them for the disease i contracted at the end of that week.
but back to that sunday. we celebrated by taking our first swim of the season in the university condos pool amidst downy feathers and avian poop under the watchful eye of the resident duck. then a pregnant lady in a bikini showed up and made me wish i hadn't been too embarrassed to be a pregnant lady in a bikini and made me wonder why i felt the pregnant lady in the bikini looked better than the non-pregnant lady in a bikini and swimshorts (that was me).
we came back in and i changed into white loungewear. we watched the flaming lips documentary fearless freaks in the early evening light, played with the baby on the floor, and daydreamed of fancy old houses in one of oklahoma city's down and out communities.
this might seem like a lot of photos coming up, but (aside from the first four) they aren't even of the party. and i picked up some prints this week. so once i get my hands on the scanner...
baby in a box
baby's almost one
baby's one! what a difference a day makes.
presents from emily_swank
birthday loot wrapped in envirosax... a new family tradition
the bounty out of the envirosax