Monday, November 9, 2015

Happy birthday, Biscuit!

Today is my baby boy's 7th birthday. And as I tell him, he can be 40 years old, and he'll still be my baby!

Biscuit is consumed with "Star Wars" right now (more about that to come). So his party was themed around his latest interest.

This is the first time that Biscuit has really been interested in the food and games and other parts of the party. Previously, he told me the theme and wanted me to take it from there. But it was really fun doing the research and then being able to talk to him about what I had found and getting his opinions about what he did and didn't want.

He decided that since he and Jeff have only watched the original three movies, he wanted his party to be based on those movies, not the new one. Well, that was quite a challenge. All the party stores and websites have supplies based on the movie that's coming out this December. But after a lot of searching, I finally found what he wanted.

When I asked Biscuit who he wanted to invite, I told him that our dining room table has six chairs, and we could put chairs from the kitchen table on either end.

"That's eight kids counting you," I told him, and he set to work narrowing down his invitation list.

Everybody who knows me knows that I love all this party stuff. I love making the invitations, and I always print them out and mail them. And Biscuit always gets a homemade cake or cupcakes in whatever flavor he wants.

Well, this year, I decided that I would make it a little easier on myself.

I made the invitations, but I decided to email them. It felt weird, but it saved time and money.

Address and phone number blurred out, of course.

And I decided to ... gasp! ... BUY a cake. I know, I know.

I had ordered a personalized sugar sheet that went along with the theme. They're made with a special computer printer that uses food-grade ink. The sheet that it prints is completely edible.

Again, I saved time and money. If I had ordered the cake pre-made, it would've cost about $40. But by getting a plain cake and the sugar sheet, it was about $25.

I was quite pleased with myself until I started looking at the available space on the top of the cake and then the sugar sheet. The sugar sheet was a quarter sheet cake size and the cake was a quarter sheet cake. But it turns out that the measurements of the cake were a little bit smaller than a true quarter sheet cake. Add to that the fact that the sugar sheet was created to cover the entire top of the cake, and the cake I bought had a pretty wide border of icing around the top.

Time and money saved. Stress ... not so much!

I finally took a small offset spatula and squished the icing toward the edge of the cake as much as I could without messing it up too badly. Then I got out a ruler and my sharpest paring knife and took to hacking apart the sugar sheet.

I was all worried about it, but when I showed it to Biscuit, he said, "Whoa! Mom! That is SO cool!" And he never even noticed that R2-D2 wasn't even on there. As long as Luke Skywalker was on there, the boy was happy.

Sorry about the shadow. I was in a hurry and didn't look
at my picture before I moved on to something else.

Now, when you start searching something like "Star Wars" birthday party, you get WAY more information that you could ever need. You wouldn't believe how many blog posts, websites and posts on various social media offer suggestions for "the perfect party!"

I took it one topic at a time. The first time, Biscuit and I looked at decorations. Our next trip online, we figured out games to play. The third trip was the most fun for me. We checked out food!

All the food had theme-specific names. And let me say that I've never actually seen the original three movies. So I was taking Jeff and Biscuit's word for a lot of this stuff.

We had Edible Ewoks, aka gummy bears, these bear-looking little critters in the 
movie, and Han Rollos, a take on the character Han Solo (played by Harrison Ford).

We also had light saber pretzel rods. The good guys have blue and green light
sabers. Darth Vader has red. So Biscuit said I could only make blue and green.

There are some animals called Taun Tons that I think are
shaped like T-Rex dinosaurs (Short little arms in the front and
long tails. They run on their back legs). Anyway, I made these
appetizers with wonton wrappers with spiced meat and cheese
that I've been making for years, but I had no idea I was
making "Star Wars" themed appetizers all these years.

Making his wish.

Blowing out the candle.

We borrowed a cooler that looks like R2-D2. It
held Jedi Juice (kid-sized bottles of apple juice). 

This Darth Vader is a pinata. Biscuit thought it was
appropriate that they would be ripping open the bad guy.

And Biscuit decided we needed to do goodie
bags. He picked out what we included.

We included a Play Pack, which has a coloring book, crayons and stickers, 
"Star Wars" fruit snacks and homemade chocolate chip cookies that we 
called "Wookie Cookies." I was alerted by a friend that "Wookie" is not the correct 
spelling for Chewbacca's people. It was supposed to be "Wookiee." But I blame 
Jeff. He knows everything about those movies, and he was my proof
reader. This shows he was not on his copyediting game that day!

There were a bunch of gifts, of course, including three new Nerf guns. There were lots of helium balloons scattered around the living room, and after everyone left, Jeff, Biscuit and I each got a gun and started target practice. I guess it could've ended badly, but it was a lot of fun, and it felt like we were getting away with something.

As a matter of fact, when my Mama called Biscuit, I said to him, "Don't tell Grandmama what we were doing. We'll get in trouble."

I knew exactly what would happen.

Biscuit walked around the corner and said in a low voice, "Um, Grandmama ... Mom and Dad and I are shooting Nerf guns at balloons in the living room."

"GRIFFIN!" I yelled. "You were not supposed to tell!"

He got a big kick out of that.

This was my favorite gift bag.

This morning, I put a candle in a peanut butter and jelly English muffin.

Biscuit said, "Mooom! How many times am I gonna have to blow out this candle?!"

But of course, when he talked to my Mama this evening, that was one of the first things he told her. "I've blown out my No. 7 candle four times so far, Grandmama."

I had some games planned for the kids, but I sort of lost control of the party. The sugared-up kids were feeding off each other, and pretty soon, I gave them light sabers and sent them to the yard.

The kids used "The Force" to keep balloons
in the air with their light sabers.

And a game of King of the Hill is required
by law at all boys' birthday parties.

It was a big day for Biscuit yesterday. He actually got in trouble a little bit at school today. His teacher said he agreed that he wasn't on his best behavior, but she said she wasn't too worried about it. She referred to it as "birthday-itis."

The school has a morning TV show, and they list all the birthday kids. So Biscuit was excited about that. I also took doughnuts for all the kids in his class. On birthdays, parents can bring in a special snack. The class sang "Happy Birthday" to Biscuit, and when he was recounting the story, he said, "And Mom, my teacher said I didn't even have to sing!"

He had a piano lesson after school, then we let him pick out the restaurant for dinner. And of course we saved some presents for the actual day.

Biscuit chose a Mexican restaurant, partly because he had seen them make a big fuss over other customers' birthdays in the past. And they didn't disappoint him tonight. The servers at put the big sombrero on him and gave him a free dessert. They sang to him in Spanish, which of course he loved. And our server offered him the first bite of the dessert then promptly smeared it on his nose.

Don't mind the demon eyes. I'll fix them later.

So Biscuit went to his best friend's birthday party on Saturday. He had his own party Sunday. They made a fuss over him at school today. His piano teacher played and sang a rousing version of "Happy Birthday," in which I think he used every note on the piano. And he finished up with a dinner he loved and more presents.

By Biscuit's account, it's been a great few days.

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