Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Party Planning Frenzy

It's Party Week!

Sweet baby Jack is turning one on Thursday. While my heart skips a beat just typing that out - I'm trying not to be too melancholy and sappy - and stay focused on the task at hand.

Which is preparing for his big first birthday bash on Saturday.

Banners have been printed, cut, and strung on ribbons.

Monkey puppets have been prepped for little fingers to craft. (Thanks N!)

Party hats have been assembled and glued.

The Sweet Shoppe (assorted candies in the party theme colors of brown and red) has been prepped, glass apothecary jars have been cleaned, candy tags and ribbons stand at attention.

The lollipop ribbon tree has been created.

Hudson's BBQ for 20 adults and 16 kids has been ordered (and will hopefully be delivered on time.)

Balloons and helium and curling ribbons (in the party theme colors) stand ready for blowing/tying/hanging.

The backyard has been cleaned, pots are brimming with red and white flowers, and the 'meadow' has been mowed flat in anticipation of the bounce house castle that will be delivered Saturday morning.

The big beautiful sock monkey birthday cake (and associated smash cake) have been ordered and will be ready to collect on Saturday morning. (Although - given Jack's inability to eat anything other than thin baby food - not for lack of trying - it should be interesting to see what happens when he is given a whole cake to himself.)

The copper monkey cookie cutters have arrived and butter is currently coming to room temperature on my counter in anticipation of sugar cookie dough making later this afternoon.

Jack's sweet Sock Monkey romper, bib, and party hat have arrived and are laid out on the table - ready for his wear on Saturday afternoon.

The house is *somewhat* clean - but we'll work on that this week.

So what is left to do you ask?

Find boxes appropriate for holding the enormous amount of candy from the Sweet Shoppe.

Attach ribbons and sock monkey stickers to said boxes (once they have been found and purchased.)

Take one last picture of Jack (for his "one year" photo in his first year banner), resize in photoshop, edit color, add caption, print, cut, and affix to banner paper. Then string all 13 papers on ribbons.

Create all sock monkey cookies - roll, cut, bake, cool, base ice, and pipe to look like sock monkeys - not sure yet how to do that - and surprisingly, Dr. Google has been less than helpful in giving me pictures of sock monkey sugar cookies.

Finish making red and brown tissue paper pom poms to hang from tents outside. (The first two didn't turn out so great - I may scrap this depending on my patience level/sanity with the third attempt.)

Wrap Jack's birthday gifts. (Which we still haven't finished shopping for yet.)

Finish cleaning up the house - including guest bathroom, dusting, and vacuuming. (I finished the worst of it last night - that would be the kids' bathroom - mostly thanks to James - who needs to improve his aim at the potty....ahem...)

Last minute shopping - beverages for the party mostly, and strawberries from the strawberry stand near our house.

Oh, and make two desserts for Teacher Appreciation Week - that just so happens to fall this week - of course - help Anna with her final Home/Family project - that just so happens to be due on Thursday - on Jack's birthday - of course - and make cupcakes to take to school on Thursday (even though Jack can't eat them - we'll still try.)


I'm exhausted thinking about all of this.

But honestly am glad to have the distraction.

I had my pre-birthday emotional meltdown last night. The one that always comes. The one that lurks in the background and pops up when I least expect it. This one came about as I was dusting Anna's room. She has a framed card that my mom gave her on her birth-day. The day she flew all the way across the country to be here - arriving at the hospital an hour before Anna was born.

Being the glutton for punishment that I am - I unframed it - and read the words. I had forgotten she had written a separate letter inside. A letter telling Anna how much she loved her. Describing all of the fun things she couldn't wait to do with her. The baking. The story telling. The wading in water and collecting clams from her beach.

All of the things that won't come to be.

And it brought home that she's missed this first year of Jack's life. She's never held him in her arms. Never given him a bottle. Never rocked him to sleep. Never sang him a lullaby.

And it made me sad.

And I cried.

A lot.

Life is beautiful. But cruelly unfair at times.

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