Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Alex's 3rd Birthday!

My baby is three years old!  Alex is our youngest, and it's sort of surreal to me that we have no other little ones after him--when Abby turned 3, Jake was 6 months old, and when Jake turned 3, Alex was 18 months old...we've always had a little one waiting for their turn to turn three.  We have had our last experience with a 2-year-old.  No more terrible twos!  Ha ha--I think the terrible twos are a myth, because the threes aren't much better (and may be worse??), and we have yet to get to the teenage years.  I have no illusions that things are getting easier from here!  Anyway, we celebrated our sweet boy with a Thomas the Tank Engine-themed birthday party, just like Jake had for his third birthday--Alex loves to follow in Jake's footsteps.

my sweet 3-year-old at his party

We just had a small get-together for him after Abby's dance recital--it was mostly family, since folks came to the recital to see Abby and then just came over to our house afterward for cake and ice cream.  I say "small get-together," but nothing is ever really small with my family!  All 7 cousins were running around, plus all the adults--it was chaotic and fun in our little house.  My mom came to stay a few days prior to the party, to help out with all Abby's dance recital prep stuff, and also to help me with the cake--she and I are an unstoppable cake-making machine!  (Click here for a rundown of every birthday cake I've made for the kids up until now!)

For the Thomas theme, I wanted to make a Thomas birthday cake--but not the same one I made for Jake's 3rd birthday in 2012, because it's no fun to repeat cakes!  Thankfully, Wilton has a new Thomas cake pan--they didn't have an available, current Thomas pan when I made Jake's cake, so I had to order their old pan used off ebay in 2012 for Jake's cake.  It was fine, but it was a very complicated cake--Thomas' whole body, and he has a lot of lines and detail that were hard to get right with icing!

Jake's 3rd Birthday Thomas cake in 2012

The new Thomas cake pan is more straightforward (literally and figuratively--Thomas is facing straight forward, so you don't have to do all his bodywork with the new cake!).  Still a time-consuming cake, but not nearly as many starts and stops for me this time around.

getting started--outlining done!

Thomas looks good in blue

never underestimate the difficulty of piping stars on the side of a cake

I probably spent 5 hours icing the cake, off and on while also doing meals and getting the kids down to bed.  I don't know if I'm getting older and therefore less steady with a piping bag, or if I was just tired, but I felt a bit shaky while icing all those stars.  I guess that's to be expected after 5 hours of a cramped hand, but I've never noticed that problem before.  I'm just glad that the stars mask any imperfections caused by a shaky hand!  I think Thomas turned out pretty well:

all done!

in his glory at the party  :)

my birthday boy!

We had a lot of fun and a great celebration of Alex's 3rd birthday!  Now to regroup and prepare for Abby's 7th birthday in just a few days--their birthdays are 11 days apart, but I always try to plan their parties with 2 weeks in between so that I have more time to recover between cakes!  If I was a really smart mommy, I would just move Alex's birthday celebration back to March every year to make my June less crazy--but I wouldn't trade my sweet June babies, even for a less-hectic month of birthdays!  Happy 3rd Birthday to my totally adorable, totally stubborn, sweet boy!

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