Sunday, March 2, 2008

Star Wars Birthday Bash

51wf35x2biel__bo2204203200_pisitbdp What a difference a few days can make. We didn't make it to the library until the next day, but our librarian had put Not a Stick on hold for Sean without my even asking. Last week, after I explained that someone else had already checked it out, he went up to every kid there, with his chest puffed out, asking, "You take my book Not a Stick?"  Usually I can predict a book that will be a big hit, and then there are surprises like this one that they get attached to. We eventually made it to the book fair as well and Aidan has set aside James and the Giant Peach to finish Lunch Walks Among Us, his first Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist book. Definitely not the last.

Friday was probably our last dinner out as a family for a long while. I am so easily influenced by the power of suggestion that I ordered a pesto pizza with sliced meatballs at Pasta Jay's after hearing Amy describe her delight in it...ignoring my usual lack of enthusiasm for pesto and dislike for meatballs in general. But---Amy---you were right! Yum:-)  Angie emailed that Meg made the World's Best Chocolate Cake, an old recipe of mine, and now I'm going to have to make that for Aidan's real birthday next Sunday. The frosting is my favorite---recipe at the end of this post.

I'm normally a stickler for not celebrating birthdays early, but Brian is running in a half-marathon next Saturday. In retrospect, having the party a week early was brilliant---such a relief!

Mosaic29276971. Alex, 2. Bubble attack, 3. David, 4. Destroy the DeathStar, 5. Aidan checking out frosting lips, 6. Extra Trans Fat with Toxic blue frosting, 7. Joey, 8. Balloon game, 9. Kayden, 10. Robin aka Sean, 11. Rocket balloon, 12. Pinata, 13. presents, 14. Inflatable light sabers, 15. On guard2

Aidan's favorite game (which he has been reenacting all morning) was freezing his Han Solo action figure in bowl of water, Jabba-the-Hut style, and then freeing him by pouring warm water on the ice block several times. The boys did this outside in a kind of relay race from a bucket of warm water to the ice block---so simple but fun. If they ran too fast or overfilled their bowl, they spilled. We didn't have any teams or winner; they just loved doing it. I'm pretty sure Superman is having a turn in our freezer at this moment.

The #1 key to a great party is that the friends your child chooses to invite be kind and enthusiastic, a winning combination at any age and something all these boys had in common. Seriously makes me feel good about the future.

And the #1 key to staying sane while preparing for a six-year-old party is having a real partner. Brian did so much before, during, and after the party.  Our good friend Kathy stayed and helped throughout as well. What a difference that makes!

Cocoa Cream Frosting: (enough for ONE layer cake)

1/3 cup light cream or evaporated milk

¼ cup soft butter

¼ tsp salt

½ cup unsweetened cocoa (sifted)

1 tsp vanilla or rum extract

3 cups sifted powdered sugar.

Heat cream until bubbles form around edge in a small saucepan. Let cool a little.

In a medium bowl, combine butter, salt, cocoa, vanilla, ¼ cup cream, and 1 ½ cups sugar---mix until smooth.

Gradually add remaining sugar. Beat until smooth and fluffy. If too thick to spread, add a little more hot cream. If too thin, set in a bowl of ice water and beat until thick.

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