and even when we got home, my work was not done. with the rest of the house dead to the world, i put my pork tenderloin roasts, all massaged with a delicious spice rub, into the crock pot and set it on low to cook overnight and be ready the next morning. and because i'm completely unhinged in the partyzilla department, i sat at the computer to create my little signs for the food - at 1:00 a.m. by then, the aroma of the cooking roasts was wafting through the apartment and my tummy grumbled in response.
i ignored it, finally dragged myself into bed and closed my eyes - and then what seemed like two seconds later, it was morning and time to get up. the bean was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, as always.
i cut out my little food signs and rounded the corners. aren't they cute? because sista and my brother's fiance, o, are both vegan, i wanted to make sure i labeled everything so that they would know if they could eat it or not. well, and of course, i wanted the table to look nice. heh.
then it was time to get started on the ice cream sauces - marshmallow and caramel - i'd put off till last. luckily, both were super easy to make, and i was done in about ten minutes. i poured them (and some organic fudge sauce from trader joe's) into my squeeze bottles and dressed them up with their labels. i'd also made some barbecue sauce, which i poured into its own bottle.
the pork roasts were all done, swimming in their own juices, and ready to be plucked outta the crock pot and pulled for the sandwiches.
we packed everything up, put the dog outside, and hightailed it over to the grandparents'. and i smiled when we walked in and found that the little slide that MIL and i had ordered online was sitting in the living room, waiting for the bean to discover it. sure enough, she lit up, pointed, and exclaimed "sliiiiide!" the second she walked in.
and wouldn't you know it - that amish friendship bread i'd been massaging for the last nine-ish days was scheduled to be baked that very day. yeah. as if i didn't already have a gajillion other things to do. but i did - i mixed up the goo, created my four new starters, added the rest of the ingredients, and stuck it into the oven to bake.
the birthday cake also needed to be frosted. i pulled out my cream cheese icing recipe and mixed it up quickly using grandma's fabulous stand mixer (man, how i miss mine). i flipped the pieces out onto my cake board and formed the shape of the day - "mouuuuushhhh," the bean said. indeed.
i put the teen to work on the "happy birthday" sign, and then she went with the hub to pick up handfuls of pink and white helium-filled balloons.
FIL was not immune to the party bug, as he got to work putting my pretty tissue pomander balls up in the tree in the front yard. i handed him the banner i'd ordered online, too, and he put it in the yard in full view of folks driving by on the street. yay!
the back yard wasn't neglected, despite the forecasted 100+ degree weather. it got pomander balls too, and we put the drink station out there on the table.
grandma found a bunch of baskets to use for various items in a closet, and i put the bags of cookie favors in one of them.
right at noon, the guests began to arrive. i was amazed - parties almost never start on time! but of course, as we're all running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to get everything in place, this one did. heh.
i was stoked to see some of my favorite girls walk in the door, and my friend MommyBelle came too, with her own little princess in tow.
and finally, it was time to put the food out. we busted out the chafing dishes and put everything in their foil trays, and with MommyBelle's help, i taped lollipop sticks to my little signs and stuck them in their places.
the bean was perilously close to crashing - she hadn't had a nap yet, and it was well past noon. yikes. so before she just fell asleep in a corner, we decided it was cake & ice cream time. she did a great job - she puffed up and blew in the general vicinity of the candle, although she got a little help to blow it out completely.
homemade ice cream, straight from the maker that was parked outside in the back yard. so, so, so delicious. and i put out all of our fun toppings for the build-your-own-sundae bar. and yes, i wrapped the can of whipped cream in pretty pink paper and labeled it. i told you the partyzilla in me was slightly out of control.
the bean sat down at the counter with her lola and dug into her most favorite thing in the whole wide world. i'd turned that third little "ear" into a special little cake, just for the birthday girl, but she wasn't interested beyond pointing and shouting "caaaaaake!" - she just wanted ice cream.
and not long after that, the hub changed her out of that adorable minnie mouse outfit (thanks, lilcee!) and she was out like a light.my buddy r got in some snuggle time with baby lilcee.
aline got up close and personal with some of those nipple treats, and ashley showed off her fabulous marc jacobs bag while the rest of us ooh'ed and aah'ed. and, of course, group pic!
that's my cousin 420 on the left there, in this picture of my sibs and their significant others.
there was no shortage of presents to open, although we were a little bummed that most of the guests had to leave during the bean's lengthy nap. hell, i was jealous of that nap, i could've used a little shuteye myself. oh, well.
she finally did wake up and we got her to open a couple of presents, although she was being rather coy with them, plucking at a corner of the paper and peeking at it before heading over to the slide and then coming back over.
she really only got through about three or four presents before her not-quite-two-year-old attention span gave out. we did get her to open the ones from my sibs, who hung in there and were among the last to leave.
"ooooh! a movie!"
"this is kind of fun. i wonder what i'll find if i stick my entire arm into this bag."
she got so many presents and was only able to focus on opening a couple at a time. but as my friend amber said, it's a great way to spread out the bean's own birthday princess week (the actual day is thursday, 10/1). she'll be able to celebrate every day by opening more of those gifts. sorry, generous gift givers - i'll try to take pictures of her opening them so you can see her reaction. it's been pretty fun to watch her - she tears the paper off very carefully and hands it bit by bit to her sister, always sitting nearby. and then when she sees what's inside, she lets out a gust of air with a hushed, awed "woooooowwww!" love it.
as they prepared to leave, i gathered the sibs in the living room and dropped a hint about taking a group pic on the slide with the bean. they didn't need to be asked twice.
after a bunch of clean-up, munching on a plate of leftovers from the party for dinner, and sitting around watching the bean slide down her new toy about fifty more times, we were done. we packed up as much of the stuff into the pri-YES as possible and headed home. i briefly debated taking the pomander balls down from the tree to take home, but settled for a picture instead.