I mentioned, yes? that Jules turned four? In passing? Oh dear. Well, we grandly celebrated it at home, even if it didn't quite make its way onto the blog. It's been three weeks since Jules birthday, and let's just say better late than never and call it good.
In honor of the birthday girl, I present...Turning Four, in four-part harmony.
I should mention that creating an invitation of this sort will befuddle beginning readers. Sydney was all, "That's not how you spell rain, Mom." And because she is a girl after my own heart, after my explanation she was tickled pink to "get" the homophone between reign and reindeer. One sign that you live in an English teacher's house is that homophones are very exciting.
Jules had been planning her birthday party ever since she turned three. Most notably, she wanted a purple unicorn pinata that occasionally hangs in the pinata aisle at Winco. I say occasionally because I believe it must be quite popular since almost as soon as they put it up, someone buys it. That particular aisle is the last one Jules and I go down when we're grocery shopping, and we're always looking. She had a back-up plan if the unicorn didn't work out (a humongous flower pinata that I kept reminding her was too expensive), but fortunately we didn't have to resort to Plan B. Even though I wasn't about to buy her birthday pinata six months in advance, I did start looking two months in advance. And it got pretty close: four days before her birthday I finally spotted the coveted purple unicorn pinata and bought it. Whew.
And because Jules had unicorns and Christmas on the brain at the same time, she wanted a rainbow reindeer unicorn birthday cake.
Fortunately, I've made a variation of this horsey cake so many times that I knew where to start.
She and I sketched it out, and then got started.
I always knew I was going to use a sugar cone for the unicorn horn. But the antlers I knew I'd need to create somehow. I thought about using pipe cleaners, but then just decided to go all out.
So I got big pretzel sticks, and started piecing broken bits of pretzels to the side. I thought it was looking quite clever, but I never got as far as assembling them with frosting because Jules nixed the idea. "No," she said, "I want the antlers on the horn."
Ergo, antlers on the horn.
For ease of decorating, I put the cone on the top of a bottle, and then as soon as the antlers were kinda sticking to the horn, I put the whole thing in the freezer. I didn't trust those antlers not to fall off.
The finished cake.
I could have gone the route of making this kind of rainbow cake, but that would have been one seriously tall reindeer unicorn cake. So, the M&M's were plenty of rainbowliciousness.
She loved it, and that is what mattered.
Jules gave me specific instructions for how the party was to go down. It should be like Soup Night, except it would be, of course, better because it was her birthday. She was initially disappointed when the first few guests arrived and didn't wish her a happy birthday. "Mama," she whispered after someone arrived, "they didn't say happy birthday to me!" I assured her they would, and eventually they did. Good thing.
For fun, we had plenty of reindeer antlers on hand for all the kiddos to wear, and then I had all the supplies and tags ready for them to make reindeer food but we kind of ran out of time and none of the kids were the wiser since they were just happy to be taking home bags of candy from the pinata (which I refrained from calling reindeer guts). It was fun and jolly and perfect.
Oh, our spicy sweet girl.
She's our high-spirited one, our one who loves to help, who will continually offer to help and get more than a little annoyed if she is not allowed to help. She loves to snuggle, loves to help in the kitchen, loves to haul her baby sister around the house. She's taught me a lot about myself and about being a parent because she waves her emotions like a bright pink flag no matter what.
A bright pink, multi-striped flag that she will passionately whack you over the head with in order to get your attention.
She's smart and energetic and determined. One minute she's shy and quiet and eager to please, and then the next minute she's kicked you in the shins and dumped out a bottle of fish food.
She makes us breathe deeply and often.
That's our girl, all forty-one and a half inches. Little Miss Jubilation with the size 12 feet and the Shirley Temple hair. Our girl who loves to drink tea, loves to make silly faces, loves to go grocery shopping, and who isn't the least bit daring unless you take her on a motorcycle ride.
Even though her favorite flavor is vanilla, don't let it fool you. She's spicy. Real spicy.
Good thing we love spicy. It really does make everything better.