Pains, Trains and a Birthday Party

My son’s third birthday party was this weekend. He initially wanted a Lego party, but it slowly morphed into a ‘Lego and other retro toys’ party. The house was filled with different colored balloons, we had legos, a table stacked with games like Candy Land, Twister, Hungry, Hungry Hippos, and Trouble. I had craft tables covered with butchers paper, one for crayon coloring and the other with the Play-Doh we made several weeks ago along with rolling pins and cookie cutters. We went ‘fishing’ for prizes and I made a Lego pinata out of an old diaper box and some oatmeal canisters. I had board game-themed party food and drinks and a Candy Land table dedicated to all sorts of candy. My whole house was transformed into party central.

My son requested a Lego cake months ago and I’ve been brainstorming and sketching ever since. I finalized the design a few weeks ago and put it all together on Friday. I worked for 2 hours on it and was so incredibly proud of what I came up with and couldn’t wait to show my son. We both had nasty colds and he was well past his nap-time because I couldn’t find a stopping point in my obsessive cake decorating. When I finally finished the cake, I came into the living room and scooped him up to show it to him.

We galloped into the kitchen and I said,

‘Look at your cake mommy just made you!’

And he burst into tears.
I said,

‘Honey, what’s wrong? You don’t like your Lego cake?’

And through his tears he screamed,


At this point he was sobbing. I was dumbfounded. And royally pissed off. I worked my butt off on this damn cake, through pregnant belly and achey back, sore throat and stuffy nose, I slaved over this thing that I thought was perfect, and he has the right to tell me he doesn’t like it? Who does he think he is? How dare he? I wish I could tell you that I got over it quick, but maybe it was the sick and tired in me that caused me to get so upset. I even cried about it. Isn’t that sad? I cried because my 3 year old told me he didn’t like something I made him. I even called my mother seeking comfort and she just laughed. Hard. Then I got pissed off at her. (Can’t you hear all those beautiful violins playing?) Now I’m rested enough to know he was just really over-tired and didn’t feel well. I could have asked him if he wanted a chocolate covered race car and he would have cried at that point. Poor guy. He woke up from his nap that day and wanted to go see it again and hugged me and told me he loved it. That’s my sweet boy. 🙂

Everything at his party seemed to go well, I think the kids all had a good time and I think the parents probably cursed my name with all the sugar I sent them home with. I always get nervous throwing a party for kids because my friends all have children that are either a year or two older or younger than mine, and I want everyone to have an equally good time. My plan seemed to work out well except for the fact that I accidentally pummeled one of the young kids with Snickers bars when I was cleaning out the pinata. I do hope she’s OK. And I also managed to cause an otherwise responsible and perfect mother to feed her child vodka by accident. (She thought it was water, and I apparently didn’t have a big enough label.) I do hope he’s OK.

Other than those potentially hazardous mishaps, it was a great party. I’m still exhausted and need a big break until I get Christmas Busy again. We all stayed home yesterday to put up our Christmas tree and house decorations. Man, I love the smell of a Christmas tree, it always makes me happy. Sometimes you can find me inside the tree when I’m having a rough day. Try it, it helps. Anywho- We have a family tradition that Christmas doesn’t begin in our home until our son has his birthday celebration. That way he doesn’t get jipped on his birthday festivities. While my husband hung our outdoor lights in the rain, my son and I built a Gingerbread Train. I’ve never been a gingerbread house kinda gal, I didn’t grow up with it and so I guess I just don’t understand them. We always made gingerbread men and women with my mom and I loved doing that, but we never built the houses. I saw a kit at the store before his birthday that was for a Gingerbread Train and I couldn’t resist buying it, even though it isn’t my thing. I knew we would have fun doing it.

Oh I wish I could say this is the picture of our train. No, this is the picture the box promised. It promised that everything inside the box is all you need to make THIS train. How hard could it be? I’m kinda artsy. I’m kinda creative. I can handle this. Ha. Now I know why I don’t do these. It was a large pain in my pregnant butt. The directions weren’t clear, the candy was all busted up inside and everything was NOT included in the box. The pieces kept falling apart and I had to stop the caboose from collapsing with one hand while I was gluing the car together with the other. But my son had such a great time decorating it, which was really the only point.

He got to do it all by himself, I just supervised and watched his creative juices flow.

Aint it purty?

My favorite part is the rearview 🙂

I’m very glad today is Monday, because that means I already threw the party that’s been on my shoulders for the past several months, it means our house smells like evergreen, and it means we’re one step closer to what I believe will be the best Christmas ever. It’s easy to get caught up in the hectic preparation of the holidays, the busy shopping, list making and oven-slaving we do so much of. But please, before you forget why we do them all, take a moment to stop and smell the Christmas tree.

If you’re looking for a great Gingerbread cookie recipe, I highly suggest the recipe my mom used for us when my brother and I were little. It’s Martha Stewart’s Basic Gingerbread Cookie Recipe.

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  • Reply Chef E December 13, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    Heh! I laughed all the way, from top to the rear view! You did a great job, since they only remember the 'happy' of all their childhood, not the imperfection of how our food looked.

    Hope you are feeling better, I am still on the last leg of this darn upper respiratory thing…would love to have a piece of that train right now!

    Wonder if my son at 23 would want to make a train this coming week 🙂

  • Reply Velva December 13, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    I think all of us moms can relate-it's a beautiful Lego cake. You can look at it, and see the love and effort that you gave to make his cake beautiful.

    He did a beautiful train too.

    Happy Monday to you.

  • Reply Tracy December 13, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Is there something that you and Kelly caught growing up next door to each other that made yall incredible party throwers?! Seriously, I never thought I would hear of another party that out did any of Kelly's kid parties but yours sounds like it may have done so! I'm totally impressed! I'm showing Kelly your lego cake so she can start planning for next year!

  • Reply Everyday Champagne December 13, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    Thanks everyone!
    Chef-I hope you're feeling better too, I think I'm on my way. And you're absolutely right, he only remembers the fun excitement and to him, that's the most beautiful train (to me too 🙂
    Velva-I appreciate you seeing all the love in the cake!
    Tracy-you're so funny. Your mom was the ultimate party thrower, and my mom was I guess thats where I get it from! I'm sure you've got it too, it'll come out one day, I'm sure!

  • Reply Tinky December 13, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Your train is the best. And I've never seen better legos! I'm glad you both got over that. I love kids, but it's always good to take ANYTHING they say with a grain of salt. Happy/merry.

  • Reply Everyday Champagne December 15, 2010 at 12:21 am

    Thanks Tinky! We're totally fine now, it was just a bad day!

  • Reply Anonymous December 15, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Sounds like an amazing party! Loved the colorful lego cake…

    I made this same gingerbread train with my grandson last Christmas and marvelled at how different our very free-wheeling result was from the picture on the box–but also at what fun Kavi had making up his own version of a decorated gingerbread train. He left it out with a glass of milk for Santa to nibble.

  • Reply Everyday Champagne December 16, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Oh, we had the best time with the train too…once we got to the decorating part it was a blast watching his wheels turn! He goes in there every day and stares at it, I think he really is so proud of it. I love that you set it out for Santa, great idea! We're planning on making Snowman cookies using large marshmallows for Santa's cookies…I think he'll really love that project too!
    As always, thanks for reading and sharing!

  • Reply Rachel February 9, 2011 at 9:50 am

    You may try Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa ( i know alot of people use it, its also non alcoholic, though it's effectiveness is not as good as alcohol based cough medicine, but it's still good to use on not so serious scratchy throat.

  • Reply Everyday Champagne February 10, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Thank you Rachel, that's so sweet of you.

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