Tuesday, 7 December 2010

My weekend as a nurse, cake maker and hostess: India turns 3

Well, sweet friends of PB, thanks again for your compassion about Sammy’s surgery. You have no idea how much it has buoyed me throughout the past few days. You see, not only did we have Friday to endure – that was the mere *precursor* to the rest of the weekend! Hmmm. I can’t handle this pace for much longer…Okay, time to wrap up our weekend so I can post about other things!

My day as a nurse and a housecleaner extraordinaire

My Saturday was spent as Sam’s nurse, giving him eyedrops every few hours and administering Nurofen. Fortunately, he wasn’t mopey. He scooted around everywhere, creating havoc as he pulled things this way and that. All while I was trying to clean the house. We still had a huge pile of Joshie’s 5th birthday presents on the sofa, all waiting to be stored away. Which of course meant that space had to be found for them. Yep, that little snowball of housework just kept on rolling, getting bigger and bigger as the morning went on. And I was doing the housework all on my lonesome as Mr PB and the pixies were up at my parents’ house, working on a Top Secret Project which I’ll reveal in my next post (believe me – it’s worth a post of its own!). Oh, and I did I mention that I had about 5 loads of clothes to wash, dry and sort out?

My day as a party planner
When they returned, we hared off to Spotlight as Miss India was turning 3 the next day and we had a party to organise! I *somehow* ended up carrying 12 kg Sam around. I was exhausted. Mr PB and I were snapping at each other as we shoved pink (of course) serviettes, decorations and balloons into our basket. Not nice. Oh, and all the while listening to Joshua’s protestations at everything being so ‘pink’. Hmm. We then escaped the store to commence an epic ‘witching hour’. Almost rivalling this one.

My evening as a present wrapper

And then I started the next episode of the Night of the Great Wrapping – remember this one? Sigh.
My morning as a birthday cake maker

The pixies all awoke at their normal unseemly hour on Sunday. There was no sleeping in for a Certain Mother. No, my darling daughter was turning 3 and there were presents to be unwrapped! She was delighted to receive two divine handmade creations of the lovely Courtney of A Silver Nutmeg & a Golden Pear. Here’s the sweet little skirt.
I adore this denim dress with Courtney’s signature birdie (pink for Miss India) and contrasting pink (no, really?!) spotted and floral fabric.
Fortuitously, Joshie and India had a mid-morning sleep. For a while, we even had all three pixies asleep. Sam soon joined us, though, as Mr PB and I tackled the daunting reality of pulling a party for a dozen or so family and friends out of thin air. It was noon, the party was starting at 3 pm and the only thing we had done was cook a couple of cakes. They were meant to be magicked into this Magic Toadstool in the Women’s Weekly Kids’ Birthday Cakes Cookbook.
Hmm, just a *few* small problems – the two cakes didn’t remotely resemble those domed shapes, we didn’t have any toadstools or hearts and Mr PB insisted I use the icing mixture which came with the packet mixes (instead of the usual butter icing). That was my grave mistake.

While Mr PB hurried about, cutting up a fruit salad and baking slabs of brownies, I took a deep breath and attacked the cakes with a knife. And promptly removed too much cake. Oh no! Too late to turn back, I then attempted to cover my handiwork with the packet cake icing. It turned out to be a terrible, sticky, viscous mess, almost impossible to get off the knife, let alone stick to the cake where it was meant to. I was panicking by this stage. Mr PB and I exchanged terse words. And all the while, Sammy was undoing the ‘childproof’ locks on the cupboards, pulling out pots and pans to bang on and wanting to be picked up. Oh, and crying for good measure.

But the clock was ticking! Panicked, we rang everyone and asked them to come at 3.30 pm. Shortly after, we rang again and shifted it to 4 pm. Then my parents turned up, ready to watch the birthday girl unwrap their presents. I continued to ice the horrid cake, all the while attempting to maintain a *calm* and *measured* conversation with my Dad who was feeling poorly after his eye on operation on the Friday. I ended up shoving the cake in the freezer in an attempt to get the icing to set! Then I had to make the fairy bread (with more of those blessed 100s and 1000s) and ice the cupcakes. With seconds to spare.

My afternoon as a hostess

The guests started arriving. I pulled the cake out of the freezer – the icing was still wet. Sigh. Presents started appearing. Wrapping paper flew everywhere. The pixies and their friends were prancing about, helium balloons tied to their cupcake icing-smeared fingers. Musical Chairs was a hit.
We cracked open the bubbles and started to relax. Just a *smidgen*. It was fun. I *even* had a few conversations with our lovely guests including sweet Sarah. Miss India had a ball. Here she is playing with our little trooper, Sammy.

And she loved her cake. Here it is.
Not taken at the same angle as the book’s, note. Hmm, I don’t think this was my *best* cake effort on Planet Baby to date. But my darling daughter was happy. And that’s what counted. The guests finally departed and then yes, witching hour began. Groundhog day. Hours of cleaning later, Mr PB and I crashed into bed. All ready to start another week ☺. I hope you all had a far calmer weekend than we did (now that wouldn’t be hard!).


  1. Love the skirts. You're little girl looks like she enjoyed every minute of her special day and the cake looks perfect. As my hubby always says 'as long as it has frosting, the kids will love it!' Take care. Lx

  2. Oh so cute! Having all sons I never got to do the cute-girly gifts and cakes.
    xo Cathy

  3. I LOVE her cake too!! Those dresses are just adorable, how clever are you! I hope little Sammy is on the mend, I love that boys (especially that young) don't let a little surgery get in the way of a good time! X

  4. Just had to leave a comment, as I too have fought the fight with that very cake! Mine was for my second daughter's fourth birthday (some five years ago). The Womens' Weekly has a lot to answer for!

  5. Your cake turned out really well. After reading RockWallaby's comment above it seems you have done brilliantly!
    Here's to a relaxing week :)

  6. Oh Jane, I can feel the stress just reading your post.
    My goodness, such a lot to juggle in three days.
    You are truly amazing to still be sane after all of that.
    I have had some cake disasters, let me tell you!!
    Decorating and assembling cakes are not my forte' and party planning can be stressful at the best of times.
    Bet it was nice to put your feet up and relax afterwards.
    We also have a busy b'day time around Oct/Nov, so I can relate.
    I think your cake looks great and sounds like it all came together in the end and India had a lovely day.
    The skirt and dress are just beautiful. Think I have seen these at Salamanca Market?

  7. Oh I thought the cake was going to be a disaster! It looks great! I know the pre-party rush all too well. I came home at 1pm after shopping and last minute birthday pressies to have only 2 hrs to bake a cake, make assorted afternoon tea delicacies, and get the house looking remotely livable while two kids ran around me high on excitement. Deeeeeeep breaths, they only do so much for the nerves before the mind boggles lol

  8. The cake looks delicious! Happy Birthday India!!

  9. Wow, what a weekend Jane! Happy belated birthday to your little India :) I think your cake looked amazing! Here's hoping for a quiet few days for you!! Hugs ~ Txx

  10. The cake looks fabulous! My birthday party tip is to get the cakes baked by a local bakery, and then just ice and assemble them yourself ... and accept all the admiring comments! ;-)

  11. Hello Jane - thanks for dropping by the third - off to read you now - have always fancied living in Tassie - we have just moved to the western side of the blue mnts -behind your ole Sydney town. So we have snow and parrots and forest and more - maybe a bit tassie - and after a year in the gulf of carpentaria it's a nice change - best le

  12. ps made me tired just reading this ... love the cake - a delight - le

  13. I thought I was going to read that the cake was a disaster....or there was NO cake! You're very modest - Miss India's cake looks fab.
    Nothing like the collapsed chocolate, strawberries and cream cake, no, make that trifle! that I concocted for my little one's birthday. It slithered off the plate into one big mulchy mess!! I managed to make a bit of a display out of cup cakes and stuck a candle and a sparkler in the middle!
    Love the little skirt and dress - gorgeous.
    Hope you now get to take a few days rest...x

  14. A belated birthday hug for India!
    You truly do know how to pack a LOT into one weekend dear girl.
    And I'm sure that the birthday girl love, love, loved her party and cake.

    Hugs to you,

    Felicity x

  15. Thanks, ladies, for your kind birthday wishes for Miss India.

    Oh, Mel, I can't take the credit for the dresses - I just asked clever Courtney to do some custom orders for me ☺. Yes, Sammy is doing well. His eye is slowly looking a little less bloodshot. We have to wait 6 weeks to see how successsful the surgery was.

    And thanks for stopping by, @RockWallaby - your comment made me feel a lot better! Oh, and I'm your blog's newest follower - I look forward to having some time to read it.

    Thanks, Kat - you're a sweetheart. Yes, Courtney does sell at Salamanca. She's such a gem.

    Ha, Bec! You know what it feels like to have your nerves jangling when you're under the pump, then ☺. Not something I'm keen to repeat.

    Thanks, Veronica - great to see another local blogger stop by Planet Baby.

    Ah, Tina, and now we hurtle towards school finishing and Christmas...

    Hmm, Sasha, the thought had crossed my mind ☺.

    Hi Le Thanks for popping over and following - I've returned the favour. Wow, you have tried out the extremes in climate!

    Oh, Bethan, you are a darling. Mmm, did you mention trifle?! Ah, yes, rest sounds enticing.

    And Felicity, it was not a weekend for the faint-hearted on PB! Never again...J x

  16. From the enormous smiles on the children's faces, I would say the party was a huge hit. The cake looked pretty and Miss India looked gorgeous in her new dress.
    I have Master B's party tomorrow night at 3.30pm and I just found a note expecting me to be at school all morning helping with Christmas activities. Yikes.

  17. Jane! Please tell me you have a some major down time planned some time soon! I am exhausted reading all about what a magical day you created...and the cake is lovely!
    X Briohny.

  18. Gorgeous images...I can relate to so much of what you said!! Congratulations on your little girls turning 3 - a milestone for the parents, too! The cake is very very sweet.

  19. Jane, the cake was gorgeous - and yummy! I had no idea you were so under the pump - it certainly didn't show. Doots is still talking about India and musical chairs and imitating Mr PBs hilarious music making - la la la la la la!

  20. It looks like it was a magical birthday party. Happy Birthday, India!

    XO L

  21. I gave that loathsome cookbook to the Salvos...

    Your cake is a dream! Well done! The little blue chairs are adorable as well! Happy Birthday Miss India! (My most loved girls name ever!!!) x

  22. Oh my, what a weekend you had!! Happy birthday to little Miss India - sounds like she had fun time at her party despite your cake dilema (bet it tasted delish in the end!!) Hope your week ahead is a calmer one :)

    Just read your interview on Simone's blog - I so enjoyed reading your responses and found many similarities with myself :)

  23. you are party central there, lady!!!!!!!

    love the cake! my friend is amazing with cakes and she had real problems with that cake, she made it like a dome and it was squashing the cake underneath! I think yours looks fabulous

    hope you can take a break for a while....


  24. Hi Jane, thanks for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoy it. Yes it is getting cold here and sometimes I think I only have one more winter in me, then the morning dawns icy and magical and off I go with my camera! You are certainly knee deep in it with your dear little ones. I will keep an eye on planet baby...brings back memories. Robx

  25. HI Jane, I have just returned to your post and read some of your previous posts. All I can say is "wow' - a genuine definition of a resilient, patient, loving super mum (and daughter!). Your writing is a real pleasure to read and so emotionally accurate. Mr PB sounds like a real gem-much needed, I imagine. Make sure you stay ;fuelled' with lots of good food, water and love and hugs! X

  26. Quite a few hats you had to wear there, well done on getting through it all!!


    Gordon Bennett - what an epic Jane!
    Well done PB household, it's exhausting just reading from the sidelines. You bolster my opinion on women and multi-tasking and the power of 3 - hope you got a few hours sleep somewhere in all that in the end.
    Rain hasn't helped with the washing either I bet.
    And yes those party books should all be sacrificed on the alter of feminism !

  28. You poor exhausted mummy, its amazing how much we will put ourselves thru for our little people, You did a wonderful job on your cake. Hats off to you my friend!!!

  29. Cripies! I turn my back for a moment and then find all these sweet messages of support from you all. I love this bloggy caper ☺.

    Deb, you are a superstar for getting through that day in the manner in which you did.

    Thanks, Briohny - yes, I've had a couple of days off blogging as I've tried to gather some strength ☺.

    Thanks so much for following PB, Denise. I'm so delighted to be able to return the favour.

    You crack me up, Sarah. I thought I must have appeared a frazzled wreck! I can't remember a word of our conversations. I'm so delighted Doots enjoyed herself.

    Emma, you make me smile. Again. I am so relieved to hear someone else has found that book *challenging*! The others to date have been much easier but the shape of that one was a doozy. Oh, and I'm thrilled to finally meet someone who loves that name as much as we do ☺.

    Thanks, Amanda and Laura - I'm just glad I made it through!

    Corrie, I hope you're having a quieter weekend as well and that Retrodaddy is there to share it with you all.

    I'm so pleased to have found your blog, Robynne. Feel free to drop by this madcap planet whever you like!

    And Denise, you sweetheart! That would have to be one of the loveliest comments I've ever received. Yes, Mr PB is a keeper.

    Thanks, Jo. I'm one of your newest happy followers.

    Lee, you make me giggle. I had to Google 'Gordon Bennett'! One to remember.

    And Trish, thanks. Hmm, at least I won't have to make *that* cake again! J x

  30. Wow. What a weekend. What a week! Your cake looks deliciously pink and gooey, and your kids are so so lucky to have you both as parents. I love the image of your husband rushing around baking brownies and giving icing advice ;) My husband is a little bit similar... though he was in charge of fairy bread and mini hotdogs last time, and has learnt to steer well clear of the kitchen when I am on a cake decorating mission. Many a tear has been shed over Womens Weekly cakes...

  31. Wow Jane that cake is amazing! Far better than anything I could cook up. Mine always taste great but do NOT look good. I dont think I have the patience for cake decorating. Letitia x

  32. Happy Birthday to India!
    To her mom and dad, too!
    To her, it was perfection.
    SHE didn't know all the
    back room stories of what
    went into the day....just
    the end result, which was
    full of joy and smiles.
    Lovely, Jane!
    xx Suzanne

  33. Why, thanks, ladies.

    Ah, Rhi, normally following the AWW book is a doddle but not this time!

    Letitia, you are *way* too kind!

    And Suzanne, you are such a darling. You are dead right. I have to focus on what is really important. J x


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, you gorgeous soul. You've just made my day! J x

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