Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Third Birthday, Take 1

Thanks to having his birthday on a Monday this year, Jacob managed to get in three days of birthday celebrating.  We are still recovering.  I have at least half a dozen big tasks still waiting for me at home from the weekend, on top of the handful of things I did the past two nights in the couple hours I had each night.  It's been a busy few days and I feel bad that Jacob has barely had time to play with his birthday gifts since we've been away from home so much since Sunday.  The weekend went by in a flash, and here's the first part:

I started the major prepwork Friday morning when I put two pork tenderloins in my slow cooker with a bunch of root beer to cook all day.  It seemed to cook up well, shredded beautifully, and was put in the fridge with some BBQ sauce to wait for the second batch, which I was going to do overnight from Friday to Saturday.  Friday night the boys went to a little informal picnic at our friends' house, which gave me hours of uninterrupted time to do some running around and baking in preparation for Saturday.  I had two layers of cake to bake, a rice krispie lacrosse stick to make, and lots of other miscellaneous stuff to do.  I did get a lot done that night, but I knew things weren't going to go 100% perfectly when the second layer of cake started crumbling right out of the pan.  I decided to go with the egg-free recipe even though our nephew wasn't going to be there, just because it's lower in fat and it doesn't puff up much--which was good in this case because I was doing a two-layer cake.  The first layer came out perfectly, but the second layer was a mess.  Still, I let it be overnight and figured I'd tackle it again in the morning.

In the morning, Craig and Jacob ran out to get Jacob's hair cut.  He desperately needed one and I never got up the nerve to pull out the trimmers and try it myself.  It gave me some time to get some more work done, and because the barber is right next to Wegmans, I gave Craig a short list of things to buy--including more frosting.  When they came home, I was excited to see how handsome and grown up Jacob looked with his haircut.  Were it not for the crazy amount of money they charge, I would take him every month if I could!
It became apparent pretty quickly that the cake was not going to go well, but I persisted and tried to cobble it together with frosting.  Eventually there was so much frosting that it weighed everything down and it was falling apart more by the second.  At that point I was in tears and I sent Craig out to the store to pick up a premade cake.  I felt so defeated.  I had been looking forward to this for so long and I failed miserably.  I told Craig not to get it too decorated, as I wanted to still try to use the lacrosse stick as a decoration.  The cake he got was very nice, but with the decorative trim it did have, the stick wouldn't fit so I relegated that to the top of the pan of rice krispie treats.  Of course, I then had to write on the new cake myself, which has never been my forte.  It was a whipped cream cake, and the warm house and cold cake created condensation on the frosting.  As much as I tried to sop it up, the gel icing still ran when I wrote.  Ugh.  Two cakes ruined in less than two hours.  Awesome. 

I was pretty unhappy at that point, but I decided to have a beverage to relax a bit and figured there wasn't anything more I could do at that point.  The food was looking good--the second round of pulled pork went great and it all heated up very well, and I discovered that I could make salt potatoes--so at least I had that going for me.  It was also a fantastic day.  Apparently the weather gods are making it up to us for giving us a cold, rainy day for Jacob's first birthday, as we've now had two good years in a row.  The pool was open and clear but still a little dirty and cold.  It did get a little use, though, so I guess it was worth getting it open and ready-ish!

Just before dinner we did gifts.  Here's Jacob getting ready to open:
Pardon the sunglasses...they're a little large but they were the only ones handy that day.  I actually found them in a box of random stuff at my grandma's house during the winter, and figured it never hurts to have an extra pair.
Jacob got a lot of great gifts.  He got some clothes, a wheelie ball (inflatable ball-frisbee thing), a velcro catch and toss game, and some fun big gifts...including roller skates and the necessary padding from Grandma and Grandpa:
He was very excited about these and was ready to forego the rest of his gift opening as soon as he saw these!  Lori wasn't sure what to get him (and to be fair, neither was I), so she went out on a limb and got him a guitar and microphone (more on that in a bit) and some Megablocks:
I think we're slowly but surely getting out of the cheesy face phase.  He still does it but seems to be getting better at real smiles...even if they don't last long!
After presents we ate dinner, which went fabulously.  It's nice to know I can pull off pulled pork and salt potatoes that easily!  The guests also made delicious contributions, and we had a fantastic feast!  Afterward we did cake.  Thank goodness it tasted good because it was still disappointing...even if the immediate sting had given way to resignation.  Here's Jacob blowing out his candles--which he did very well, all by himself!
You can see the lacrosse stick in the background.  It turned out ok and I will probably revisit it another year, with modifications--both to the cake (duh) and the stick itself.  Rice krispie treats are a tough medium to mold with because you only have so much time before they start to stiffen up.  Oh, and as a side note, Jacob referred to the strings of icing around the edges of the cake as worms.  Pretty funny :)
After cake (which Jacob loved), it was time to test out the skates.  We gave him one of his gifts from us early, his bike helmet, and got him all outfitted in his skates, helmet and padding.
Here he is skating with Grandma and Grandpa:
Between the skates and the helmet, he looks so tall!
He did a great job on the skates, even when we set them to mode #2, which doesn't lock any wheels but prevents backward motion.  He held on to hands most of the time, so any near falls weren't actual falls, but he could move himself very well all things considered.

After skating we headed back to the yard again.  Jacob played baseball for a while...
Doesn't he look like such a big boy here?
And then he got back to playing with his guitar, which I had missed earlier while getting dinner ready.  He took to it right away, apparently, and he was totally cracking me up when I finally saw it. 

I have video of my own, but here are a couple links to some of his earlier attempts for now:

I'm not positive either of those will work, but we shall see.  I'll post my video another day.

Anyway, we wrapped up the night with a quick cleanup, a bath for Jacob, and a lot of prepping for a busy day on Sunday...another birthday party and Father's Day, too!

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