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Birthday Parties, Cary, NC Style

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Birthday Parties, Cary, NC Style

Today is Timmy's 3rd birthday. Today was Timmy's 3rd birthday PARTY, too. In part because of all the wonderful parties we've been invited to, and in part because this is Timmy's last birthday party while we're living in North Carolina (sniff sniff), he had a pretty big shindig.



For Jacob, a summertime birthday is pretty simple: pool, park, or backyard, right? Well, when your child's birthday is on the climatologically coldest week of the year, you don't want to risk the weather not cooperating, so you take action nice and early to book a great indoor location. I booked Planet Child in early November for today's party. I'm not making that up -- I booked this venue 3 months in advance! Everything around here seems that way -- preschools, soccer teams, art classes, swimming lessons. Act fast if you want happy kids, right?

So for this party I invited Timmy's preschool class, and several of the neighborhood friends he's known while we've been living here. I think it came to about 16 friends total.

But those friends have siblings. And many of their siblings happen to be Jacob's age.

And we don't want Jacob to not have his friends around, right?

9 friends for Jacob. So the 16 kids we invited became 25. That's a lot of kids! Add to that Jacob and Timmy, and I was planning a party for 27 kids plus their parents!

And like Jacob's birthday party (which was at a park with no limits on how many could attend), they ALL RSVPed "Yes". I never expected I'd have such popular kids. It's sorta nice -- I don't think I was ever that popular!

Unfortunately, at the last minute, 4 of the children had to back out. I was sad that they couldn't make it, but it helped keep my requirement for goody bags to the original 24. Everything seemed to come in sets of 8 or 12...ever the mathematician. I purchased some spare items for the extra 3 goody bags, but I have to admit the stuff wasn't quite as cool.

Anyway, the party was wonderful -- the facility is first class, the people helping to set up the room helped our event run smooth as silk, and (most importantly) the kids and guests had a terrific time.

Having the party at Planet Child helped me focus on the two (count 'em, TWO) cakes I made for the party. I needed enough for approximately 50 people, and one Wilton Thomas cake just wasn't going to cut it. Maryann had both the Thomas and Lightning McQueen Wilton cake pans, so I made BOTH. Thomas was yellow cake, Lightning was chocolate. Yes, I'm crazy.

I ran into a minor emergency with Thomas: because it was an egg-free cake recipe, the cake started drying out while it was still on the cooling rack, so I got to work pronto to frost the cake. The first batch of icing ended up with clumps of powdered sugar all over that would stick in the piping bags. Ugh! Out of frustration, I had to pitch that entire batch of icing and start over, remixing the icing, and re-coloring the colors I needed. But at least the 2nd time was a charm, and Thomas ended up looking pretty decent when I was done.


From 2008 01 26 Ti...

Note the ring of grease around Thomas -- I had a brain fart and failed to cover the cake board with aluminum foil. Oops.

Lightning McQueen worked out much much better. I had him iced with no problems in under an hour. The front end of the cake severed while it was cooling, but it wasn't a problem to re-attach it with some icing before I frosted the whole thing.


From 2008 01 26 Ti...


So far it's been a pretty great weekend for Timmy -- his Grammy and Grampy flew in from New York, he's been showered with gifts all weekend so far! He's making out like a bandit! And...thankfully he's been a great kid all weekend -- no meltdowns and no potty accidents (so far, knock bytes!)

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