Today we dropped off (yes, dropped off!) Gabriel and Julian at Gavin and Cassie's joint birthday party. I actually wanted to go, but Katrina was taking a solid morning nap, from which I finally woke her up to go. I really wanted to see Andy Z, a popular local kids' musician that Stacey hired for the party. I'd heard a lot about him, but never had had a chance to see him.
We arrived at the tail end of the music fun, and I could see in just a few seconds why Andy Z is so popular. He is really, really good! I liked his songs, the way he engaged the kids, the fun boisterous atmosphere. I'm definitely going to be looking out for his concerts and making a much grander effort to get to them now.
Gabriel was pretty funny in just standing and concentrating on him though. He did go around in circles and play along with the other kids too, but much of the time I saw, he was like Julian in Music Together: utterly stationary.
Meantime, birthday boy Gavin ran laps around the room.
Then of course, there are Stacey's cake masterpieces. She made a panda cake for Cassie's 3rd birthday, and a spiderman cake for Gavin's 5th, and they were both perfect works of art.
Yes folks, she decorates these herself. Really astounding perfect detail. And quite yummy too!
It was a gorgeous, downright balmy warm day, perfect to enjoy the Ryder family's beautiful and diverse backyard. A perfect day and place for a really wonderful birthday party. I can't possibly provide such an idyllic setting, nor can I come close to Stacey's talent in cake decorating, but there's no doubt in my mind after my Chuck E Cheese trauma that a home-baked party is the way to go.
Katrina was in a terrific mood when we got home from the party; she clearly got a kick out of being in a new place and surrounded by so many fun things to watch. She spent the first 15 minutes of our time there spitting up again and again and again, almost completely occupying me with wiping up her bib (she went through two in that time) and everything around her. I swear that girl makes yogurt in her tummy out of breastmilk and then regurgitates it.
Much of the rest of the time, she happily hung out in the stroller, taking it all in, while I chatted with friends and took care of the boys. When we got home, she was all smiles and giggles and cute baby sounds.
The warm day gave me a pang of lament for having another summer in which I can't just go outside when I feel like it and do things in the garage or attend to our long-neglected landscape. Having a babe-in-arms limits life in many ways, but for some reason the tug to get involved in non-baby-compatible projects outdoors is especially strong. I still remember both days when I had a sense of liberation with Gabriel and Julian, both when they were about 18 months old, when they were able to just walk around and hang out while I did things outside. I know it'll come again. And I'll probably think it happened in a snap when it does.