As promised, here’s the story of Matthew’s first birthday party. The day didn’t turn out quite like I expected, but was memorable none the less, although more for reasons I’d prefer not to remember, than the ones I had hoped to file away in my mental memory box.
I’ll back up to last Friday, the day of my last post, and Matthew’s actual birthday. Sadly, the sweet thing woke up with a terrible cold and was anything but happy. I felt so disappointed that he was sick on his birthday, which is kind of silly because he didn’t know it was a special day so it didn’t have the same impact on him. We baked cakes and cupcakes, and put the finishing touches on the fondant cupcake toppers you see in the photos. I loved making them. Admittedly, they are a little more time consuming than some might like, but they really couldn’t be easier to put together. I bought white fondant and tinted small pieces with gel colouring to get the colours I needed for the project. Then, with the help of a rolling pin and cookie cutters, I got to work making the shapes that would stick together to create a farm animal face. Once complete, they sat perched atop luscious chocolate cupcakes topped with thick swirls of decadent frosting and I have to admit I was pretty proud of the end result.
The cake on the other hand was a little less impressive. On Saturday morning - the day of the party - I made a three-layer maple banana cake with a caramel frosting. Both tasted great, but the fondant decorations I assembled earlier in the week cracked as I was placing them on the cake, finally splitting in half. I have no idea how it happened or what I did, but I’ll blame the stress that was swirling around me as I tried to prep a party with sick baby, sick teenager - I forgot to mention that Ben came down with a brief stomach flu the night before - and a husband who was in excruciating pain because of the “carpal tunnel” he thought he developed earlier in the week.
I made peace with the fact that the cake was not going to work, and ditched the decorations. Instead, three plastic farm animal toys were plopped on top of the cake alongside a single tapered candle, and I called it a day despite being devastated. The rest of the meal was quite simple: three different kinds of mac and cheese - regular mac and cheese, pizza mac and cheese, and penne with a cheesy butternut squash sauce, caramelized onions, and bacon - kale Caesar salad and veggies with dip (for the kids) rounded out the remainder of the meal. For appetizers, I set out oversized platters of piggies in blankets and bowls of assorted chips and dips.
As our family and friends trickled in, it was evident to all that things were not quite right Chez Scott. The baby was beyond clingy and Rob, poor Rob who had been suffering for days, was just not himself. All afternoon I had been contemplating cancelling the party, but I’m so glad I didn’t because, despite being chaotic and not our best gathering by any means, two of our guests are RNs and when they took a look at Rob’s “carpal tunnel” they insisted he get to the hospital immediately because he definitely wasn’t suffering from what he thought he was (something I had been telling him for DAYS).
To make a long, long story a little bit shorter the rest of the night went something like this: Rob and I took off for the hospital and my mom stayed behind with the boys. She took care of Matthew while Ben and Jackson did ALL the clean-up (no small feat - we had 22 people here). We headed straight to urgent care, Rob received IV treatment for a severe infection that had been left for five days too long, and while we were waiting for the antibiotics to enter his system he decided to go into some sort of cardiac situation that resulted in a call for a crash cart, an ambulance transfer to another hospital, and a few days stay for observation. Obviously, the fact that I’m writing this means we had a happy ending to our terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad weekend, but I can tell you that when you see your person, your favourite person, succumb to a situation like that that you quickly realize that broken birthday cakes really aren’t that big of a deal after all.
P.S. Now that it's almost a week later, everyone is doing really well! Our plans for this weekend include a whole lot of R&R and hopefully a bit of catch up on all that sleep we didn't get for four days.