Sunday, April 22, 2007

Birth/Earth Day: Q turns 2

My wife has gone nothing short of all out for Q's second celebration. She's spent much time all up and down the web researching cake tips and party favor ideas. She suggests that we go with an art theme, and it's a good idea, so we let the idea become the frame. For the main attraction, my wife shapes a small round cake into a painter's palette, and places it atop a green-tinted sheet cake. It looks great. From scratch and frosted with buttercream, it tastes even better than it looks.

She doesn't stop there. She borrows another idea given up by Google and makes edible paintbrushes out of pretzel rods and Twizzlers ropes (shown in the vase). The Boy helps by cutting the candy, and with all his Montessori training he sets to work and cuts them all exactly the same length. They end up delighting kids and adults alike.

We set up stations down in the playroom (where we had her first birthday): brushes and paints to decorate wooden maracas, a large pad and crayons for drawing, cups of neon Play-Doh fresh out of the plastic wrap (and actually feeling like dough). The guests will take away bags of crayons and a watercolor set.

Q wears her blue tennis dress and looks like spring itself. The kids arrive, their parents following them in the door. It's a small group, but close, and they're Q's guests from her brief but memorable time around here. The waffles and creme brulée French toast (again, my indefatigable wife's doing) move well. The party pretty much takes care of itself, so we catch up with friends we haven't seen for some time. When the lit cake comes before Q, carried by my wife and all of us singing, Q covers her eyes until it's time to blow out her two candles. She asks for my help but really just wants me to do it for her. I oblige, of course, but leave the wishing to her.

After hugs and kisses and many pictures, we have more cake upstairs, just the four of us, and eye the presents. Inside are many precious things—a cute beach bag (monogrammed with a 'Q' no less), a magnet dress-up doll, a brain game, a wooden bank in the shape of a giraffe that swallows coins all zig-zaggy, among other things. Her nanny has already given her special trains, and both sets of grandparents made sure that she woke up today already loved with many wonderful, big-girl gifts. Soon we will retire the crib for good. And then there's college, I suppose (or so it inevitably seems).

In the dark and quiet, after baths and bed, I thank my wife for all her time that went towards crafting Q's wonderful party. She only half hears me, though—she's busy at work on The Boy's day a little over a month away.

Happy Birthday, Q. We love you.

(And you better appreciate your mother.)

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