Monday, May 16, 2011

Bon Fete

We managed to survive the girls' birthday this weekend...albeit barely.

After we got home from the community centre, my parents and I polished off a bottle of wine. It was a necessary evil. Fortunately, Adam abstained so he was able to drive to pick up sushi for our dinner.

Soccer with Coach Luigi was a huge hit with the least the older kids. The younger kids ran around the gym playing with scooters, beach balls, etc. Big A had a fabulous time, but Little A was overwhelmed (I think we had over 20 kids!) and cried and clung to Adam for most of the party.

I don't think we'll be doing big parties like this every year, it's nuts! I also think that if we do, we will ask for donations to a charity or the girls' school instead of gifts. They didn't need anything before and now it's almost shameful how many toys they have!!

But even Little A couldn't resist blowing out candles and eating cupcakes.

The carrot cupcakes with cream cheese icing turned out great. I will update the carrot cupcake post with the icing recipe.

The gingerbread cookies were an embarrassing disaster. I was not successful at making a pink icing without food colouring. I started with a base of melted white chocolate and coconut oil. At the last minute I realized that the pomegranate molasses I planned to use to tint it pink, is actually more brown, so in a panic I threw in some Crofters organic superfruit spread, raspberry juice and Greens Plus for Kids. It ended up a speckled purple colour with big chunks of berries. Ugh! It still tasted good, so I spread it on the cookies. Then I got the white cookie icing I purchased to write the "A"s on all the cookies, but realized I'd gotten the one to flood the cookies, instead of the one for writing. The next mistake I made was to go with lower case "A"s and with my much too thick icing writer, I ended up drawing what looked like a sperm on each cookie. They were so atrocious looking that even Adam suggested I tell everyone that Big A made them.

In spite of their lacklustre appearance, I still got compliments on their taste and the kids happily gobbled down the cupcakes, cookies and watermelon.

The pinata was also a hit and not a candy was left at the end.

Big A was pretty well behaved all weekend and we had no major conflicts until last night. We got home from my friend Sheri's son's birthday party and she was extremely tired. Adam was at his book club meeting so it was just me and the girls. The minute we got in the door she went nuts, getting over-hyped and out of control. She ignored anything I said and started doing things she knows she is not allowed to do.

After making several HUGE messes with some of her new birthday gifts, I asked her to clean them up and she refused. After some negotiation I agreed to help her with one mess but said she had to be responsible for cleaning up the other herself. She threw a huge fit and refused. I told her she could not have dinner until she did. We ended up in a standoff for about 15 minutes until she finally (half-heartedly) cleaned up. After eating, I asked her to get ready for bed and she refused. I finally just left her alone allowing Adam to deal with her when he got home. Not the best solution, but I felt it was better than losing my temper. Adam pointed out that she was so overtired, it is hard to hold her responsible for her behaviour, she was almost delirious. While I was aware of that, I wasn't physically capable of forcing her into bed any sooner, since I was alone with both girls.

If Adam had been out of town and not coming home at all last night, I really don't know what I would have done. I hate that. It makes me feel so incompetent, like I can't control my own kids. Since Adam is going to be away a few times over the next couple of months, I am going to have to come up with a plan for what to do if this situation arises again...


  1. Sorry, you had me giggling about the cookies :)

    Our tack with cleanup has been that if we ask and it doesn't happen, whatever it is goes away for a while. We'll give a reminder or two, but then let it go. Doesn't work so well with things they don't particularly care about, but if they do... they'll learn soon enough!

    This parenting thing is HARD!

  2. Nic,

    My mom used to tell me when I was a kid that parenting is the hardest AND most rewarding job. I couldn't agree more!

    This morning Big A was great, and decided that she now has too many toys. So she got a huge bag and filled it with ones she doesn't want anymore and brought them to school to donate to the daycare. I was so proud of her!

    Adam often threatens to take away the things she won't clean up. I always forget that approach, I should definitely try it.

  3. In that same vein, we always found that threatening and yelling at my brothers failed to work, so silently picking up the toys and putting them away in a hidden place usually got the job done. When they asked where the toys were, we'd explain where they were and why they went away and say that the toys can come back in a day/week/whatever is appropriate.