One year on: single figures

Phoenix turned one this weekend!!!! 🙂 HAPPY BIRTHDAY! 

First of all I would like to say … how the hell did that happen?! This time last year I was staring into the eyes of a tiny little new born. Fast forward a year and that new born is walking, feeding himself, trying to speak and driving his own car! (see picture, not actual motor, no need to inform the services). Although so much has happened in the last year, it has completely whizzed by. I can’t believe I have a toddler and not a baby! Quick adopt brace position and prepare for tantrums!

To mark the momentous day of Phoenix entering the age of actual numbers rather that months (did anyone else find it really weird when the age turned into an actual number?!) we had a lovely picnic in the park with family and friends. Despite the rain threatening in the build up it stayed dry all day and we had a really lovely time. This was nothing short of a miracle considering Ben and I travelled half way round the world to get married in mexico in April when ‘it never rains’ and there were thunderstorms all week. But not this time! Eat that Michael Fish! Hmmmm sorry Michael, I know it’s nothing to do with you, but still, eat that!!! 

The pressure was on in the build up to the party. I have been really busy over the last couple of weeks with work with lots and late nights and missing way, way, too many bed times 😦 In my guilty gloom at missing precious time I vowed to perform perfect motherly duties and put on a rock solid party for a one year old boy. He would have presents, friends, cake and general spoils. Most of that is in fact easy peasy – you just need to make sure the grandparents are there. But the cake, ahhhh, the cake….

I would say I am ‘ok’ at cooking. I don’t really ever do anything complicated but can do enough. I’ve never been much of a baker though, I’ve never really tried. So for about the last 4 weeks I have been in ‘training’ for this party. After a conversation with my friend Cat (she’ll crop up later too in an ironic twist), when I mentioned that I might just buy a cake to save time, she dropped the following bombshell:

‘oo Em are there going to other mums there?’ Well you know they’ll all be judging you on your cake. You absoultely cannot buy one. Did you know I have a whole photo album of every cake my mum made for me on all my birthdays? You cannot get this wrong’.

Oh lord. She was joking of course, but as my long working hours built up and the guilt set in, I gradually came to the conclusion that my whole ability to be a ‘good mum’ (still not sure what one of those is) rested on this bloody cake. Fail at the cake, fail as a mum. Simple as. After a few weeks of cup cake training, I was happy with my sponge and my icing skills. Basic, but solid. I settled on a monster theme because a monster can be any shape, colour or design. The flexibility in this was appealing. Then I bought in the back up; Cat and Liz, my gorgeous friends for the last god knows how many years, turned up on a Friday night (rock n roll) with sprinkles and food colouring and assisted in the baking. All was going well, we had a production line in action and even had Ben supervising the creation of some Star Wars themed cup cakes. I then handed out vodka lime and sodas. Before Liz and I could say ‘icing sugar’, Cat had opened the oven prematurely and the cake sank. She swears blindly it had already sunk, but Liz and I knew she was lying (hahahaha). In a moment of genius (well it impressed me), Liz flipped it over and there sat the neatest, most perfect sponge anyone could imagine. Ben thought we’d made another cake (bless). On with the decorating, where Cat in her effort to make up for her oven opening (hahahahha) made a vivid orange buttercream; it was so bright I got a headache. Liz went home (‘deserter’, boom-tish), and I was left to make the face (best bit, obvs). At this point I was pretty knackered. It had been a busy day; I’d had a presentation first thing, followed by a baby exchange with Ben at Waterloo so he could get to work and then ran around town buying sausages and beer. As I stuck on those monster eyes I was feeling exhausted. And then Cat piped up with another classic:

‘Don’t get tired now Em, you’ve got about another 13 years of making these’ 

Sigh…..

Sleep. Wake up at 6am, excited baby. Cook. Park. Fun. Laugh. Pictures. Play-Doh. Slide. Cards. Wrapping paper. Guests. Get to park. Late. Food. Beer. Ice. Cake! The cake! It was a hit! A big hit! Phoenix is eating cake! Phoenix is eating a malteaser! Play. Guitar. Chasing. Skateboard. Ok, someone restrain Nanna from giving Phoenix anymore sweet things! The sweetest thing he’s ever had is a carrot!! Walk home. Tea. More presents. Wrapping paper. Bathtime. Bedtime. Cuddle my one year old. Kiss my one year old. Marvel at how he’s grown. So proud, so, so delighted he’s here. Goodnight. Tomorrow you are 1 and 1 day.

So a great day had by all, although, I’m not sure what was more knackering – a year ago in labour, or a year on doing the first birthday party?!

Thanks so much to everyone who came and for all the lovely presents and for everyone who wished Phoenix a happy birthday on FB! It was a very special day, and a perfect start to many more years of parties! Better get brainstorming for next years cake, I can’t keep wheeling out the monster…what would people think?!

Cat….ok,ok, I know you didn’t open the oven. Liz and I forgive you, we were just winding you up………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
………………………………………………………………………………………….you so did though

 

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