Part 1: The Cake
The cake I was making really wasn't that hard. Unfortunately the process of baking the cake was much more laborious than I was anticipating. The design called for 5 8-inch cakes, with the fifth one cut into quarters to be used as the castle tower. Ice all the cakes, put them together, decorate and then add the sprinkle covered sugar cones. Easy enough. Thursday morning I realized that the two square pans I had were different sizes (one was a 9-inch) so I could only bake one cake at a time. So that means, five times throughout the day I baked for 26-28 minutes, cooled, flipped the cake out, cleaned the pan and then started over. And THEN I realized that since I was using a glass baking pan (aka, lasagna pan) and not a cake pan, the sides were slightly slanted out and if you ever make layer cakes you'd know that in order to have it look nice the sides have to be perfectly straight. So then I cut the sides off each cake. Before this I already had to level each cake which means there was lots of cake scraps sitting around, which means I ate alot of cake that day.
Because the baking took more time than I had planned on I just didn't have a ton of energy to decorate the cake, so I wasn't completely happy with that. There are alot of little extra touches I would have done had I felt up to it. The most important part was that it tasted really good. Matt just finished up the last of it this evening. So at long last.....here is a picture of Ella's birthday cake....
The hardest part was getting the flags, AKA toothpicks, to stay in the top of the sugar cones. I had to gently chisel a hole in the top of each one and then secure it with icing. A real pain but it would have looked weird without it. Notice how all the Disney princesses are trying to be the first in the door.
Part 2: The Princesses and Princes and etc,
Both Ella and Catherine were excited to dress up. I was upstairs putting a few things away in Ella's room and I heard Catherine climbing up the stairs saying over and over again "I snow white, I snow white" Sounded more like "I toe white", but I understood. She was all ready to get into her outfit. As soon as Ella saw her sister she was up in a flash putting on her Cinderella dress, shoes and crown. I believe it was a total gift from God when she told me she "switched her mind" and she just wanted to wear her hair down. Her crown was an example of the craft the kids were going to make - she choose that over a more elaborate Cinderella tiara.Hear are some shots of my little girls.
Notice how the crown is pulled down on her ears!
Catherine eventually allowed us to put a barrette in her hair.
Aside from the girls that showed up in princess costume and fancy dresses, we had a knight, a prince (I think we can say that Nolan was Prince Charming because he came in a tux with a long stem pink rose for Ella!), Buzz Lightyear the Space "knight", Peter Pan, a superhero and a beanstalk. It was fun that all the kids got into it and participated in dressing up.
Part 3: The Chaos
Last year I wasn't sure if I was going to do a party for Ella and waited too long to plan it and then not many of her friends could come. It was still fun and she had alot of her mommy and daddy friends there but a couple of times she asked about when kids her age would come. So this year I planned ahead and got a date out and we were able to have it on December 1st, before alot of the Christmas craziness gets going. That meant that basically everyone (Dawn, we did miss Anthony and Sophia) was able to come. So there were 17 kids, including mine, in our house yesterday. It made for a pretty crazy afternoon. We had the basement set up to play in so it was nice to have kids spread out a bit. I had a few projects for them to do, making foam crowns and visors that could be covered in stickers and jewels, making princess magnets and making magic wands. Also, my friend Kelly was giving everyone princess tattoos. After the craft chaos, we had food chaos when 17 kids scarfed down pizza and juice and the parents tried to grab a bit as well. Ulimately it went well and I think we had only one pizza casualty (juice spill) and there was enough food for everyone.
Then we moved on to cake and presents. I don't have pictures from the Happy Birthday singing but I had some friends who took pictures and I'll get a bunch up on my flickr page when I get a chance.
Opening presents was more of the same chaos. Present time is the moment when even the kid who has been sticking close to mom the entire time decides that this is something they aren't going to miss out on. Ella also had a few helpers so I had to try my hardest to get her to slow down so I could read the card and she could say thank you.
Here I am surrounded by little princesses. They got closer and closer with each present and I was honestly sweating by the end. Don't see me in this picture? I've been swallowed by little girls! I just had to include a picture with some of my friends and fellow moms who helped celebrate with us!
And of course I couldn't have a birthday party post without mentioning my parents, who made the trip from Clearfield to be a part of the fesitivities. Ella was so happy that they would be there and they were both a much needed help with getting ready that morning and helping during the party. At one point I realized my mom was downstairs in the basement encouraging the kids to play down there. I'm not sure they knew what to think about all the princess toys that Ella got since I was not really much of a princess girl, but they both agreed (actually I think they volunteered - quite quickly!) to be back up dancers for Ella as she did her princess ballet DVD. If only I had a video camera for that!
Here's a picture of the whole family as the party began to wind down on Saturday.
All in all it was a fun, but exhausting day.
Of course Tuesday is Ella's actual birthday so I hope to get a post up in honor of our new four year old. But that will be after I make cupcakes for her preschool class that morning. I bet you can guess how much I'm looking forward to that!