Wednesday, 20 July 2011

But life still goes on: Sam turns 2

Goodness, my gorgeous Planetarians, all 364 of you, life is such a tumult of emotions on Planet Baby right now. I feel like I am living in a surreal little bubble. Whilst my thoughts are never far from my sweet Dad, lying there in hospital, the ordinary affairs of state on Planet Baby just have to keep on going. As if I’m living some completely separate life, filled with excitement, plans and dreams whilst other wishes are being dashed, cruelly, at the exact same time. The biggest example of this is the fact that Sammy turned 2 on Saturday. Time for a party to rouse our spirits! But Dad was too frail to attend. 

Here’s my gorgeous, rambunctious, fun-loving little bundle of kinetic energy, beaming on his big day. It was a small affair for our immediate family, some dear friends and their youngsters.
This is the only shot I have of him standing still!

Here are some of the goodies we had on offer. Some sparkling goodness to start the fun for the adults…
Some delectable Jean-Pascal macarons – raspberry, vanilla, lemon and hazelnut. Mmm!
Some lemon tarts and raspberry friands.
Chicken sandwiches to die for (let me know if you’d like the recipe).
There was much admiring of our new water view from the deck.
All whilst the pixies and their friends darted here and there, playing chasings and searching for hidden gold coins on their treasure hunt through the garden. No structured party games this time – just good old-fashioned tag and hide-and-seek.

And then came Sam’s big moment – the arrival of his Spot cake, all designed on the run that morning by looking at one of his treasured Spot books. Hmm, as Mr PB was gallivanting all over town with the pixies in tow to watch two soccer matches for Joshie’s old school team as well as Joshie’s first game for his new school, I was cursing the fact that he had changed our initial plans for a butter cake to chocolate cake. Removing the ever-multiplying brown crumbs from the increasingly thick layer of yellow butter icing was not the *best way* to spend my morning! Anyway, here he is.
Sam loved him and that’s all that mattered to me. Here’s my baby, cuddling Spotty for his big moment.
The cake was wolfed down by the partygoers, yellow icing and all. Not quite the spectacle as  his 1st birthday rocket cake which was fuelled by sparklers. But still enjoyed just as much.
It was a moving afternoon, marked by Dad’s conspicuous absence but also buoyed by the presence of Mum’s sisters and niece as well as Mr PB’s parents, all of whom combined to ensure it was a festive occasion and not a maudlin affair, as it well could have been. Mr PB and I just loved introducing some of our friends to our new home for the first time. Happy days indeed!

Once the guests had departed, the presents had been unwrapped and the weary pixies had been despatched to bed, I headed off to the hospital to give Dad some birthday cake. But he wasn’t hungry. Sleep was more appealing. That’s the way it is, nowadays. But not before he quizzed me about the birthday boy – I count my blessings every time we have such a lucid conversation.

Yep, life goes on, my friends. In my surreal, parallel universes. Can any of you relate to this feeling? It’s such a strange disconnect. A little unnerving, even. But onwards we plough with carpe diem our motto. Oh, and the words are starting to flow. Thank you for all your unstinting and kind support as I corral my teeming thoughts into order to craft my best tribute to my darling Dad. Your wisdom and empathy is helping me more than you will ever know. I am blessed.


  1. Well done, what an awesome cake and what looks like an awesome day for all involved!
    I don't have any ideas for your tribute to your Dad but I do know when my Nan was in hospital she really appreciated a pedicure from me (and believe me, I have a massive foot phobia, one that could rival the gorgeous Glowless).
    I don't know if it was just because she is a diabetic but the nurses weren't allowed to touch her feet! So I washed, scrubbed, snipped, moisturised and massaged them so she could stop scratching herself with her own toe nails.
    It's something so simple but often the simple things are sidelined for grander gestures.
    So glad you got to have a good conversation with him about the birthday boy.
    Take care

  2. Happy Birthday little Sam the man! Your Sammy is just a 6 month older version of my Tate, it's crazy.
    I love your Spot cake, and I am drooling over the macarons, so much so that I am about to go looking for a recipe....
    I am thinking about you and your dearest Dad. While he is still able to talk with you, can you ask him all you can about your childhood? he will probably love to talk about it, and you will cherish his little pieces of memory. That's the one thing I wish I had done more of, anyway.
    Big hugs to you all Jane. xxxx

  3. Your little boy is getting to be so big Jane. Well done on the Spot cake - I'm sure I'd have put that sort of thing in my too hard basket given everything else you have going on right now. It must have been nice introducing everyone to your new home, even if sadly your Dad couldn't be there too.

  4. I love your designed-with-flair champagne! So stylish Jane! Thinking of you and your family. Sam looked a very happy birthday boy. Much love...

  5. The Spot cake is a triumph! He's a tough one, but you so pullled it off!

    I think it is a very good thing indeed that you are 'parrell' existing. That's a healthy and necessary ability in life, Jane.

    I think Rhi's idea is splendid. x

  6. Happy Birthday to Sam. Good to see he had a lovely day. Great effort on the cake Jane. I know it's difficult feeling happy for one thing when you feel so sad and unsure about others. I have been thinking about you all a lot x

  7. Yay you had a celebration!

    What a fantastic cake! I have never done cakes like that... I know bad (ha ha) mum! I give in to my cake decorating in laws!

  8. riley loves spot :) he wants the recipe :) hang tight Jane ... life will be what it is ... and your role is just to live it to the best of your ability at any given time, many hugs le xox

  9. So glad to see your post - have been keeping an eye out and thinking how things are. Happy occasions during the most difficult of times, can give us the much needed emotional and mental break we need to continue to muster the strength we need to manage as best we can. Hang in there Jane and allow yourself to feel happy moments if you can.

    Happy birthday to Sammy and well done on the Spot cake - wowser!... and not even a Women's Day Children's party cake cook book in sight! Super impressed!

  10. Oh you are such a beautiful Mama Jane. It looked like a delightful day for your gorgeous boy. The Spot cake is marvellous... I love Spot too! :o) Love the picture of you holding Sam with the cake :o)
    So wonderful you were able to share the occasion with some top friends and family, it's what it's all about my friend.
    Even though your Dad didn't feel like eating some cake, I'm certain your presence there with him was everything he needed. Thinking of you sweet Jane xo

  11. Dearest Jane

    You seem to bbe be floating in the sky as well as your feet planted firmly on the ground. Amazing.

    Happy happy birthday to your Sammy.

    Every moment with your father is precious.


  12. Happy Birthday to Sam!

    If you have time, I am having a link up on August 1 to help us all with meal planning. Would love for you to link up a recipe or any of your tips.

    Thinking of you.

  13. Happy Birhtday to Sam! I wished I could have had a slice of his Spot cake, too!

    Stay strong!

    Much love!

  14. Happy 2nd birthday to Sam! It sounds like a great day Jane with lots of yummy cake and playing in the yard perfect for a little energetic boy:) The cake looks really good and you can see that Sam loved it too with his big smile. Take care sweetie. xoxo

  15. Happy Birthday to the gorgeous Sam I'm sure he just loved his Spot cake, great job Mummy!!

    On a side note I'm so sorry to hear of your Dad's health deteriorating :( my thoughts, love and strength is with you and your Dad and the family. Cherish every last second with him and I'm sure when the time is right those words will flow freely and the eulogy will be just perfect. Take care and be gentle on yourself Jane xxx

  16. Hi dear Jane!
    It was so great
    to see your sweet
    comment today. For
    some reason your site
    dropped off my Google
    Reader and I haven't
    had a reminder to
    pop over and visit!
    But I have thought of
    you and your dad, as
    both of us hold ours
    so dearly. Happy B-day
    to your sweet, sweet
    boy. Seems like yesterday
    that my own boy was two.
    Now he's 12 and 5'9" tall.
    It happens in the blink
    of an eye; Spot cakes one
    day and then you are dropping
    them off to go sailing with
    a friend the next {which is
    where my William is as I
    write.....}.Sending you hugs
    and prayers as you navigate
    this balancing act between your
    two worlds. I totally understand
    where you are.
    'Lots of love,
    xx Suzanne

  17. There's nothing like children to show us how to exist in parallel universes - they need us to be in the moment -regardless of whatever else is happening, bless them.

    I am amazed at your willingness to take on (and pull off) a character cake. Bravo! Spot was perfect!

  18. I love cake photos. I always feel such a glow of pride when i share snaps of my efforts since an iced cake represents a marathon effort, so when I see these photos I'm feeling a bit of your glow of pride. I always find it's a bit heartbreaking when the little consumers poke at it and then most of it ends up in the bin! So the photos preserve our well-earned pride.(I get the annoyance about crumbs getting dragged into the icing. I've found working with a frozen cake minimises the crumb drag a bit.)

    Thinking of you as you walk the difficult path with your Dad.

  19. happy birthday little guy! looks like you had a wonderful day filled with lots of love & yumminess.
    ooohh, that mummy of yours is pretty amazing!
    happy birthday to you all ♥

  20. Ah Jayne. How life goes on with all the happy and sad things that make up family life.
    Looks like a lovely day. Is that my son Nick on your deck?

  21. Thanks for your kind comments about my cake-making ability, everyone! It was yet another under-the-pump affair. You think we'd have learnt by now not to make it at the last moment!

    Your compassion and understanding about how bittersweet my life is at the moment is very moving. Thankyou for helping to encourage me to keep on keeping on. J x

  22. We love Spot here as well, such a great cake! The macarons look delicious too!!! Happy Birthday to your gorgeous littlle man! xx

  23. Thanks, Em. Mmm, macarons for me. Anytime! J x


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

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