If I had been more organized I would have had Sydney's birthday party the week before she turned three. But since that didn't happen then we had her party last Sunday, nearly a week after her birthday. Sydney didn't seem to mind much because it dragged out the overall festivities, which meant we had a week of happy birthday singing and "My party is at the farm! On Sunday! My Birthday Party! With Clover!" enthusiasm.
We always go out of town, having the party at my parents' house because most of our family lives in the Portland/Vancouver area. It's worked out pretty well that we have her birthday party at the farm because it means (1) I don't have to clean my house, and (2) since it's all family then I get to skip past the party-games, party-favors, and overall party-stress-of-what-to-do-with-little-kids. There are little kids at the party (Sydney's cousins), but I don't have to worry about keeping them busy and out of trouble because they're happy as clams jumping on the trampoline and riding around on the golf cart. Yes, farm life is good. And very entertaining.
Where it becomes a little bit less convenient is when we have to do all the grocery shopping down here and then pack all the food, cake, and assorted party supplies in the car (which hasn't grown in size, incidentally) for the hour-plus drive up north. Even more inconvenient is when somehow the groceries don't get packed, and we have to send Jason out to do more grocery shopping up there, only to arrive moments before the party is supposed to start so that we all (ie: me) end up a bit frantic in the kitchen slicing tomatoes and lettuce and such. Thank goodness for Sarah who blew up the balloons, put the potato chips in the bowls, and made lemonade as she greeted guests. (Note to self: don't throw parties that Sarah can't attend.)
It is, of course, better that I have the help of my family to throw birthday parties. My dad grilled burgers, hot dogs, and ribs (yum!). My mom convinced Mother Nature to be nice, so we had gorgeous hot weather. And the rest of us just enjoyed ourselves in the shade while the kids ran hither and yon.
As for the birthday cake, I had asked Sydney what kind of cake she wanted. Her request? "Pink!" A pink cake. Okay. I could do that. Except that, well, I didn't. It started with me baking a yellow cake.
Then I was stuck.
If I'd made a white cake, or even devil's food cake, I could have put pink frosting on it (or rather, white frosting tinted pink). But yellow cake? I can't envision yellow cake with any sort of frosting but chocolate. Yellow cakes don't have white frosting. They just don't.
So I was torn. What to do, what to do.
Well, I think I came up with a good compromise:
Double layer yellow cake with vanilla pudding between the two layers, and chocolate frosting with pink sprinkles and pink candles. Even though Sydney does like pink a lot, she is also a big fan of chocolate, and perhaps an even bigger fan of red vines. If you're going to substitute pink for anything, substitute it with sugar. That usually works.
The year of being two was a good one. A really good one. It'll be hard to top it, but knowing Sydney, I think she just might. She's that amazing.