Much like kids everywhere, mine love love love their birthdays - and in our house, we always try to make a huge deal out of birthdays. Each kid usually winds up with several parties - a family party with grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins on the Sunday near their birthday, a party in school weeks and weeks before their birthdays (we have summer birthdays) and a birthday cake made by his of her siblings, on the morning of their birthday, with everyone still in pajamas.
Here are some of the cakes I've made for those big summer-family-parties.
And here you can see my first blog post, also birthday related.
Do I go overboard? Do I do this for me? For them? What's my motivation here - besides for having an excuse to eat a big piece of chocolate cake? I believe the hope is that these are the memories that my kids will take with them as they grow older, for when they want to spend more time out of the house than in the house and for when they stop thinking that mommy-made birthday hats and cakes are cool.
So if most of the kids' birthdays are in the summer, why am I introducing this now? I'll tell you - we are entering the season of half birthdays. And we like half-birthdays. Half birthdays are like the cream inside a cupcake. You can't really tell if a cupcake has a cream filling until you bite in, and if there is, then hey! What a fun surprise! Half birthdays are like the cream, an unexpected surprise. My kids never know when their half-birthday is coming, so it always, hey! What a fun surprise!
Half birthdays are laid-back. No real party, no big presents - and no mommy-time spent trying to find that big present. Half birthdays consist of cupcakes, a balloon and a hug and a kiss. And this year, we are introducing a new element to half birthdays. The Half-Birthday Book.
The Half-Birthday Book is really just an extra marble notebook that I found on the shelf in the porch. And then I decorated it, using paper, mod podge, scissors, and a pencil. And it was all done between the opening credits of last night's The Good Wife and the second commercial break. Pretty quick.
A How To:
Step 1: Turn the notebook sideways - my plan is for anyone who writes in the book to do sideways. That's just my preference.
Step 2: Trace the cover of the notebook onto a paper and cut it out so you have template of the notebook's cover.
Step 3: Use the template to cut a piece of pretty paper to fit the notebook's cover. Mod Podge it on. Let dry.
Step 4: Use the rest of your papers to decorate - I printed out the words "Happy 1/2 Birthday" on the computer and glued it on top of some other paper, to create layers. I would have preferred to use a paper-cutting machine such as a Cricut or Sizzix, but sadly, I do not own one. But they do make lovely gifts. Just saying.
Step 5: Keep decorating or stop if you're done. I drew a cupcake and then cut it out of various colored papers and glued it on. Anything goes. You can just glue a picture of the family on the notebook and be done.
And now for the essay portion of the test:
Was is the purpose of the notebook?
The purpose of the notebook is to engender nice feelings between siblings. And I guess parents too. Each family member will draw a happy birthday picture or, for those of us who have learned how to write, a note, either on a paper that will get glued into the notebook or in the notebook itself for the half birthday boy or girl. And since all the pages will be in the notebook, the kids will be able to look back on it for years to come and see the funny/sweet/silly/scribbled black rectangles that were made for them on their annual half-year mark.
And now onwards to figuring out what to do when the baby turns one(!) in February. We never had a winter birthday before...
Are you a Mom?
Of course you are,
your shirt is dirty :)