A month before Stephen’s birthday, I realized that the local group who flamingoed yards for a living had gone out of business. This was sad-making because I had been planning to give him the full flamingo treatment on his 40th birthday for some time. One of our best pals, Renée, suggested we do it ourselves. I started checking around and found two-foot tall, inflatable dinosaurs at the Dollar Store. Score!
I asked for donations of $1 to sponsor a dinosaur and you all came through for me! I got enough fundage to pay for the dinosaurs, the sign and to take Stephen out for a burrito while we were at Dragon*con. Thanks!!
Stephen claims he was properly surprised even though the day before I accidentally let it slip that there was something happening for his birthday that involved dinosaurs. He thought it was a riot that I’d been sneaking around for a month and threatening to disinherit the kids if they told and then I let it slip the day before. Meh, he was still surprised. Or at least he faked it really well.
The whole set up took me about two hours. The kids and I were waiting for him to get home, standing in the dino field wearing dino hats and blowing dino noisemakers. I’m sure we were quite the site.
There are lots of things I love about Eli and Liza. They are kind and funny and smart and, best of all, interested in making things.
It’s a bit late in the season, but both of the kids wanted a scarf to wear. So yesterday Liza and I purchased yarn (she picked out both hers and Eli’s) to make scarves. Liza got right to work on hers…
Liza spent about 45 minutes yesterday afternoon “crocheting” her yarn. She kept asking me how to do it and so I showed her a chain stitch and how to do it with her fingers. I told her that it would be a lot easier for her when she got a bit older. She was happy with what she could do.
After she went to bed last night, I made her a scarf and had enough yarn left over to make a tiny hat. She proudly wore them to take Dad to the airport at 5:30 this morning.
Eli was less enthusiastic about his. I think the teen years are going to be made of eye rolls, long suffering sighs, and homemade robots.
Several folks have asked me today about Eli’s birthday cake from the photo in the previous post.
I made the cake Thursday afternoon from our favorite chocolate cake recipe.
Then my mom and I decorated it Friday morning. It is a retired Williams-Sonoma cake pan that I bought on a whim when they were closing it out for $7 at our local Williams-Sonoma store.
Eli has loved it from the moment I bought it and we often have octopus shaped cake at our house, although this is the first time I’ve taken the time to decorate it. Armed with photos from the internet, my mom and I iced it and stuck candy to his arms to be the tentacle suction cups. The octopus is purple because that is Eli’s favorite color. I found the fish candies at a party store and that was the icing on the cake, so to speak. Eli brought me his toy Wii-mote to add to the cake just before the kids arrived because as he said in his best “Duh, Mom” voice, “It’s a Wii party.”
It’s pretty homemade looking but the boys gobbled it up and my mom and I had a lot of fun decorating it. I have fond memories of my mom decorating my cakes from childhood and I’m glad that I finally did the same for Eli. Liza has already declared that she needs a fish cake for her birthday in May.
I’m a bit obsessed right now with keeping my ravelry.com page updated with photos of the work I’ve done. This is my Granny Square Shrug I re-finished this weekend. (I finished it the first time over Thanksgiving but it was WAY too big.) So I had to take it apart and make it a bit smaller and then sew the parts back together. While Stephen was taking my photo this morning before church, Liza had to get in on the action.
When I asked for Eli to pose for this photo, I asked him to look sad. He replied that he wanted to be happy. We got kinda bogged down in the discussion after that when I was explaining to him that when the brain slug is on your head you are most definitely not happy.